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ECN publication
Building Process Organisation Model fit for Innovative Housing Concepts?
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Efficiency & Infrastructure 26-11-2009
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--09-115 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
11 Download PDF  

Presented at: First European Conference Energy Efficiency and Behaviour, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 19-20 oktober 2009.

There is growing justification and political commitment in Europe to tackle energy efficiency in new and existing buildings, both residential and non-residential. It requires shifting the construction sector towards large scale successful implementation of innovative energy efficient and sustainable building concepts. Nowadays, a number of innovative building concepts exist, to name a few: Very Low Energy, Passive House, Zero-Energy, Zero-Emission, Energy Producing, etc. However, the experience in the Netherlands has shown inflexibility in the behaviour within the traditional building process to allow the necessary changes for large scale introduction of innovative integral building concepts. This has led to examining the question: “How well does the building process organisation model in the Netherlands allow the implementation of innovative housing building concepts?” Answering this question required to gain specific knowledge of the behaviour of the traditional building process, its characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, phases and actors involved. It also demanded to focus on the nature of barriers within, and on possibilities to overcome identified bottlenecks. Also, examined was the suitability of several selected novel concepts in their opportunities for adapting the building process organisation model and the behaviour of actors within, such as: The Life Cycle Analysis, (including the Whole Building Life Cycle Costing and the Least Life Cycle Costing), The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Concept, The Living Building Concept and Private Initiatives. This also included recent experiences with building projects implementing these concepts in the Netherlands. In summary, there are a number of challenges. The traditional building process in the Netherlands is fragmented in nature into successive phases with a strict way of cooperation and division of tasks and responsibilities between actors. There is also a cost / risk approach preventing enabling long-term relationships between possible parties and taking the whole building life cycle and building operational costs into the equation. To overcome these barriers, the way individual phases and individual actors are structured and connected should be re-engineered in a way that enables long-term relationships to be established, and the whole building life cycle and building use operational costs to be taken into account. Novel tendering and contracting strategies are desirable. Recently there are developments and experiences in the Netherlands with novel concepts (whole Building Life Cycle Costing, C2C, the Living Building Concept and Private Initiatives). The implementation of these concepts is still in an experimental phase, with exact means of implementation in need of further development. The weakness is in the practicability, as it is difficult to translate principles into formal agreements between actors of the building process. Also tools and instruments for real application are missing. The results of this work also serve as preparatory work for part of 7th Framework Programme project ‘Cost-Effective: Resource and Cost effective integration of renewables in existing high-rise buildings’.

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