Adaptive Reuse in Sustainable Renovation of Typical Tenement Blocks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


The circular economy, large numbers of underperforming dwellings, pressure on housing markets and the architectural, social and cultural values of the existing housing stock are reasons to choose for housing renovation over replacement by new houses. But they are complicating factors at the same time, especially in urban areas with stacked housing and a diversity of users and ownership structures. The Beyond the Current-group conducted an interdisciplinary ‘Research through Design’ to develop user preference tested design solutions for energy efficient housing renovation of tenement apartment blocks in The Netherlands.
This paper presents opportunities and limitations for energy efficient renovations of generic walk-up apartment blocks of the interbellum and post-war period in the Netherlands. Based on archive and literature research, the characteristics and challenges of this typology have been studied. Feasible design solutions, categorised in a General Transformation Framework, have been developed and assessed for heritage values, energy performance, lifecycle costing and user preference, resulting in a range of design alternatives on technical, spatial, functional and aesthetical aspects for two typical case studies.
The conclusions discuss opportunities for building parts and space plan by relating historical perspective, present performance, heritage values, design possibilities and user preferences. Favourable options include repurposing of underused storage floors to optimise the building envelope and sacrificing balconies for more insulated space. This study shows realistic examples of sustainable housing renovations by adaptive reuse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSPACE International Conference 2018 on Housing
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventSPACE International Conference 2018 on Housing
- Antoinette Hotel, The Broadway, Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Oct 201820 Oct 2018


ConferenceSPACE International Conference 2018 on Housing
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Adaptive Reuse
  • Housing Typology
  • Sustainable Renovation
  • Affordable Housing


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