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Low Energy Housing Retrofit (LEHR)

Research project P2/06 (Research action P2)

Persons :

  • Dr.  MLECNIK Erwin - Passiefhuis Platform vzw (PHP)
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2006-31/1/2010
  • Dr.  VANDAELE Luk - Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2006-31/1/2010
  • Dr.  DE HERDE André - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 15/12/2006-31/1/2010

Description :


Buildings account for up to 35 percent of the total energy consumption in many European countries and housing accounts for the greatest part of this. Accordingly, renovating existing housing offers an enormous energy saving potential. A few exemplary renovation projects demonstrate that renovation can achieve five-fold and more energy savings while dramatically improving living quality. The success of these projects lies in their cost-effective combination of conservation measures to reduce energy demand.

Project description


The project will begin by analyzing the building stock in order to identify building segments with the greatest multiplication and energy saving potential. In parallel, exemplary renovation projects achieving substantial primary energy savings while creating superior living quality will be analyzed. Important aspects are both energy performance and the owner's motivations behind the renovation. Drawing on this experience package of measures in combination with the most updated research front, new and innovative concepts and components will be developed. Insights from international collaboration (participation in IEA SHC Task 37 and observing European project E-RETROFIT-KIT) will be conveyed to target national end users in a deliberate strategy to increase the market penetration of advanced housing renovations.


The following approach is taken by each partner towards their respective target group (PHP: project teams, UCL: housing owners, BBRI: building industry):

• Collaborate on analyzing national housing statistics, defining possible renovation strategies and concluding which housing types and strategies should have priority at a national level
• Identify prototype projects as test cases to explore methodologies to accelerate market penetration
• Build an alliance and network to increase position and market impact
• Document design and performance of exemplary housing renovations, as well as impact on the environment, use of resources, urban infrastructure, health and quality of life.
• Select key design parameters to be studied
• Identify trends, concepts and approaches, which proved effective on an international level, and document these insights as summary design advice

Interaction between the different partners

UCL will deliver a general publication showing housing owners successful, very low energy renovations. BBRI will provide a technical manual showing the building industry how successful, very low energy renovations can be achieved. PHP will provide publications and project leaflets informing planners and project developers of insights from exemplary project experiences. The partners will continuously review the proposed information.

Expected results and/or products

General guidelines will mainly address an unaware public confronted with general questions about renovation and energy efficiency. These will be spread as:
• pdf document on the web sites of the partners and the regions, as well as mailed towards the target groups
• a printed document during building fairs like Batibouw, Passiefhuis-Happening
• a conference paper

A technical manual will address the technical questions of the building professionals. It will be spread as:
• draft documents during meetings with the follow-up committee
• pdf document on the web sites of all partners
• an official printed document destined for the building industry (‘technische voorlichting WTCB’)
• a conference paper

The project information collects information about several demonstration projects. This will be spread as:
• printed project information leaflets during visits of the demonstration buildings and during meetings with new building teams
• free of charge pdf reference documents on the web site of PHP (project database)
• IEA SHC annex 37 contribution
• poster information on building fairs - conference paper (summary)
• annexes to the general guidelines and technical manual

The collection of general guidelines, technical manual and project information will also be made available as an information booklet to be spread during a final workshop for architects and the building industry.



Passiefhuis Platform vzw: founded in 2002, it’s goals is to stimulate the Flemish passive house market, by playing an active role in developing and distributing relevant information towards all parties involved in the building process.
UCL – Architecture et Climat: this research cell of the UCL aims since 1980 at the development of climatic and durable architecture, as well as energy efficiency.
BBRI: this private research institute, founded in 1960, performs scientific and technical research for the benefit of and supplies technical information, assistance and consultancy to its members, and contributes in general to innovation and development in the construction sector.

Contact Information


Erwin Mlecnik
Passiefhuis Platform vzw (PHP)
Gitschotellei 138
B-2600 Berchem
Tel: +32 (0)3 235 02 81
Fax: +32 (0)3 271 03 59


André De Herde
Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Architecture et Climat
Place du Levant 1
B-1348 Louvain-La-Neuve
Tel: +32 (0)10 47 21 42
Fax: +32 (0)10 47 21 50

Luk Vandaele
Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI)
Department Energy and Climate
Lombardstraat 42
1000 Brussel
Tel: +32 (0)2 502 66 90
Fax: +32 (0)2 502 81 80

Follow-up committee

Georges Allo - SPF Economie, PME, Classes moyennes et Energie
Johan Bogaert - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Bart De Boer - Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)
Geert De Bruyn - Cenergie cvba
Luc Dedeyne - NAV, de Vlaamse architectenorganisatie
Ingrid Delflas - Eurotherm Van Geystelen nv
Albert Dero - Eurotherm Van Geystelen nv
Bart Deschoolmeester - Ygor - gezond en milieubewust ontwerp
Paul Eykens - IsoproC
Stéphane Faignet - I.W.T. Vlaanderen
Monique Glineur - Ministère de la Région Wallonne (Division de l’Energie)
Isabelle Jumel - Ministère de la Région Wallonne (Division de l’Energie)
Anneleen Haers - Vlaams Energieagentschap (VEA)
Ralf Klein - De Nayer Instituut - Katholieke hogeschool Sint-Lieven
Dirk Knapen - Bond Beter Leefmilieu Vlaanderen vzw (BBLV)
Virginie Lambert - Institut Bruxellois pour la gestion de l’environnement (IBGE)
Pieter Loosens - Katholieke hogeschool Sint-Lieven
Ivan Pollet - Renson nv
Pierre Sibille - Institut Bruxellois pour la gestion de l’environnement (IBGE)
To Simons - Centrum Duurzaam Bouwen (CeDuBo)
Georges Timmermans - Isolatie Raad (CIR vzm)
Peter Van Acker - Openbare Afvalstoffenmaatschappij voor het Vlaamse Gewest (OVAM)
Jurgen Van Geystelen - Eurotherm Van Geystelen nv
Bart Van de Weghe - IsoproC
Dirk Verbeeck - Provincie Antwerpen - Kamp C - Provinciaal Centrum voor duurzaam bouwen en wonen
Alexis Versele - Katholieke hogeschool Sint-Lieven
Jo Versteven - POD Duurzame Ontwikkeling

Documentation :

Low energy housing retrofit (LEHR) : final report  Mlecnik, Erwin - Vandaele, Luk - De Herde, André ... et al  Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2010 (SP2201)
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