TBI in the market
|Space for housing wishes|
|Main activities||Market areas/clients||Market characteristics/ developments||Competences of TBI companies in the market|
The Housing cluster consists of four dedicated housebuilders, ERA Contour, Groothuis Wonen, Hazenberg Bouw and Koopmans Bouwgroep – each with its own specialisations –, the supply company Voorbij Prefab and the building systems companies Comfort Partners and WTH. Together they form a strong chain. With their complementary specialisations, they can offer a wide range of solutions in the redevelopment, newbuild and renovation markets. Important issues in the construction industry are the sustainability of the existing housing stock, ways to improve the living environment and the transition to a climate neutral country. Circular construction is also growing in importance.
All these developments are increasing the importance of building systems in the industry. Even before construction begins, it must be clear what smart systems will be installed. Comfort Partners, a specialist in this area, and WTH, a supplier of underfloor heating and cooling, often work together to design homes that incorporate smart solutions. By offering service and maintenance contracts, Comfort Partners can also give its clients peace of mind after the handover. The technical component is also increasing sharply in the housing maintenance and renovation sectors.
The TBI companies in the Housing cluster again had a good year. The housing market strengthened further and despite the lack of available planning locations, the companies together reported strong growth. There was a particularly sharp increase in the number of repurposing and renovation engagements.
Newbuild output in the Netherlands rose by 11.5% in 2017 and repair and renovation output by 7.5%. Approximately 64,000 housing units were completed (source: EIB). TBI completed 2,345 housing units in 2017 (2016: 1,649), an increase of 42%.
Of the total, 1,158 were built for private customers (2016: 1,004), 479 for investors (2016: 195) and 708 for housing associations (2016: 450). The stock of completed but unsold housing units as at 31 December 2017 was zero (31 December 2016: 2). The number of unsold units still under construction as at 31 December 2017 was 39 (31 December 2016: 117). WTH fitted underfloor heating in 11,300 houses and apartments in 2017, in comparison with approximately 10,230 in 2016. WTH is the market leader in the Netherlands.
Diverse housing concepts
In TBI WOONlab, the TBI companies in the Housing cluster develop new housing concepts such as lekkerEIGENhuis and beterBASIShuis to meet the diverse tastes on the housing market. Thanks to their cooperation with Voorbij Prefab, the units can be built in many styles, making each one unique. Walls and window frames can be fabricated and assembled in the factory to the client’s every wish.
A total of 863 lekkerEIGENhuis and beterBASIShuis units were completed, spread across the Netherlands. Hazenberg started construction of 23 lekkerEIGENhuis homes in Jacobsveld (Bosschenhoofd) in 2017. As the units are built largely in the factory for assembly onsite, construction time is reduced to just four or five months. Koopmans and Comfort Partners are building 24 lekkerEIGENhuis homes in Achterveld. ERA Contour has started construction of 35 dwellings in accordance with this concept in Droomweide, an area of Bodegraven that was developed by Synchroon. Koopmans is realising 76 owner-occupied units in Ede and 21 beterBASIShuis units in Doetinchem.
Inspiration and technical advice tailored to the client
To help their clients furnish their new homes, ERA Contour has introduced ‘WAREHOUSE’. This showroom can inspire buyers and help them select furnishings for their new homes, from complete kitchens and bathrooms to doors and light switches. The showroom is open to the customers of all TBI companies. Comfort Partners has set up its own expert centre to answer customers’ technical questions about how they can create a comfortable, sustainable, healthy and safe climate in their homes.
Prefab concrete products shorten construction time
Voorbij Prefab, an innovative manufacturer of sustainable prefab concrete products, produced more than 1,000 prefabricated concrete housing skeletons in 2017. The factory makes facades and walls directly from the Building Information Model (BIM) for the TBI housing concepts. Window frames are assembled on the elements. Using BIM considerably shortens the preparatory phase and the high degree of robotisation ensures unprecedented dimensional stability and a high standard of finishing. Voorbij Prefab also produces high quality products for stacked housing units. The factory has produced the exterior walls and interior cavity walls of the high rise Little C project in Rotterdam.
Making neighbourhoods sustainable and pleasant
Strengthening cities to make housing more enjoyable
The TBI companies are active advocates of urban renewal. Urban communities must have good amenities, high quality housing and pleasant neighbourhoods that people enjoy living in. That is why we listen closely to the wishes of current and future residents. The Waterschapper neighbourhood in Schiedam, for example, will be metamorphosed over the next five years by means of ‘placemaking’. Placemaking puts the neighbourhood first, not the buildings. Residents are involved in the plans from the very beginning. In the final phase in Schiedam, known as De Nieuwe Wetenschappers, ERA Contour invited primary school pupils to walk through the neighbourhood and suggest improvements and changes. The final plan incorporated their ideas for more room to play and lots of green spaces.
Our approach to other disadvantaged neighbourhoods also centres on the wishes of future residents. Thanks to the successful renewal of the Crooswijk district in Rotterdam, ERA Contour and Heijmans were awarded the contract to make Kralingen a strong neighbourhood. Some 800 high end dwellings, free building plots and rented housing units will be realised in Nieuw Kralingen. A residential care centre will also satisfy the requirements of financially comfortable seniors. Another neighbourhood that ERA Contour will renew in the coming years is Overvecht in Utrecht.
On the edge of The Hague, ERA Contour is developing Groenhaaghe, a neighbourhood with Dudok-inspired housing. Together with BPD, the company is drafting a plan to make Bospolder in Rotterdam an attractive neighbourhood for families. Under the name The Hudsons, 142 family homes will be built. On the edge of Tiel, Groothuis is developing and building De Vijvers project, 43 new housing units built in accordance with the beterBASIShuis and mooiGROOThuis concepts.
The TBI companies are converting prominent office blocks and other buildings into apartments in several cities. The residents’ wishes are at the heart of the developments. On the En Bloc project in Houthaven, Amsterdam’s former timber port, the look and feel of the building and dwellings are being decided by the future residents in consultation with ERA Contour and the architect. This form of co-development is a good alternative to self-build and a fitting complement to a more consumer-oriented housing market. In Oosterhout, Hazenberg has implemented the Warandapoort plan, a redevelopment of an area on the Wilhelmina Canal. In total, it has built 63 apartments and 46 houses.
Building outside urban areas
Demand for new housing in urban areas is very high but there is little space and house prices are rising sharply. Municipalities are looking for ways to prevent residents from moving out, for example by developing residential areas on the edge of town. Dwarstocht in Zoetermeer is an exceptional project. ERA Contour has asked the future residents what makes them happy. Their answers prompted it to develop a neighbourhood inspired by camp sites. Groups of houses with shared facilities, such as picnic tables, barbecues and fire pits, will be built on a series of fields. The residents must think they are permanently on holiday. The project is part of the Stad van Strax housing concept, an outcome of the Expedition Free Housing initiative.
Waterfront on the edge of Harderwijk is another distinctive project. Koopmans, Synchroon, Comfort Partners and Mobilis are developing a residential district of nearly 750 dwellings, several car parks, amenities and a marina. WTH will install underfloor heating in many of the dwellings. On the edge of Schoonhoven, ERA Contour has started the second phase of the Bol district, and at a former industrial estate on the edge of Leidschendam, it is building an upscale housing district known as Vliethaven.
Transforming existing buildings
The transformation of empty buildings into housing can be a good alternative for municipalities to ease the housing shortage. However, it is not always clear that transformation is the best solution. Koopmans has therefore developed the TransformatieTotaal® tool to identify the best option: transformation of a building into apartments or a combination of housing and commercial functions; revitalisation; or demolition and newbuild. The concept is also interesting to investors thinking of repurposing their property. It gives them more assurance on the building’s total cost of ownership after transformation. Koopmans transformed a former office block on Oudenoord in Utrecht into a residential complex with 70 urban apartments. In The Hague, it transformed an office building on Laan van Meerdervoort into 85 apartments and in Utrecht the firm transformed Nijenoord 1, a building used by Utrecht University of Applied Science, into a residential complex with 190 apartments and an underground car park. Koopmans is working on this project with WTH to ensure optimal comfort for the residents. For the Central Government Real Estate Agency, Hazenberg made an office building in Breda suitable for modern working practices and in Eindhoven it transformed a former music school into the state of the art Centre for Art.
Together with Croonwolter&dros, Hazenberg has been working for the past two years on the revitalisation of the Avans University of Applied Science in Den Bosch. It has transformed an existing building of approximately 15,000 m2 into one of the most sustainable and innovative educational buildings in the Netherlands.
Low-energy buildings and building systems
The TBI companies again built more nearly energy neutral (BENG) and Nul op de Meter (NOM) housing units in 2017 than in the previous year. Net energy consumption in a NOM dwelling is reduced to zero through the smart use of energy-saving and energy-generating devices, such as solar panels, underfloor heating, geothermal pumps and solar boilers. Landlords and tenants of NOM dwellings can agree their own energy performance fee.
Koopmans built 32 NOM housing units in the Boswinkel district of Enschede in 2017. Of the units that ERA Contour built in phases 2 and 3 of De Nieuwe Wetenschappers district in Schiedam, 25 satisfy BENG standards and 20 NOM standards. In Zeist, Groothuis is realising five gas-free dwellings.
Together with Qupit, a developer and manufacturer of wireless energy management solutions, Comfort Partners has developed Adam. This smart device connects building systems to the internet. It meets consumers’ demands for greater security, lower energy consumption and more comfort at home. Adam also generates useful data for housing associations and engineers. Comfort Partners can also offer new contract forms based on predictive maintenance.
The first new homes in the Netherlands to be heated and cooled by means of an ice buffer system are being built in Goes-West. Comfort Partners is responsible for repair and maintenance work at the IJs van Columbus, as the project is known. The system consists of a water tank under each house. A heat pump extracts heat from it, turning the water into ice. The energy released is used to heat the dwelling.
Renovation and maintenance
To satisfy future national standards, investors and housing associations must renovate and make many homes and neighbourhoods more sustainable in the coming period. Off-the-shelf packages offered by construction companies will help accelerate the changes. The BETER OP DE METER renovation concept can improve the energy performance of our clients’ housing stock quickly and at relatively low cost. The concept is available for terraced and corner houses and a modular version has been developed for communal entry flats.
High rise living without gas
The fourth apartment block of the Royaal Zuid project on Amsterdam’s Zuidas was completed in 2017. The project is completely gas free and has been carried out together with an energy service company. ERA Contour is working on the project in collaboration with BPD and Eigen Haard to build a total of 411 rented and owner-occupied dwellings. The towers have heat exchangers and each dwelling has its own LTHO heat pump and boiler. This solution produces a CO2 saving of 460 tonnes per annum.
SmartPack, a new off-the-shelf renovation concept, enables housing associations to renovate their stock to Nul op de Meter standard quickly and effectively. The concept has been developed by Hazenberg Bouw in collaboration with Rendon Onderhoudsgroep, De Loods Architecten and Comfort Partners. In Oostvoorne an entire estate of 68 social housing units is being renovated using this concept. A special feature is that the system module is not placed in the attic or outside the dwelling but is incorporated largely into the new exterior wall elements. Hazenberg is renovating 100 dwellings with SmartPack in Sommelsdijk and 31 in Den Bosch. Other renovation projects include Hendrik Casimirstraat in Delft (36 NOM dwellings), De Wetenschappersbuurt in Schiedam (56 gas-free NOM dwellings) and Amsteldorp in Amsterdam (gas-free).
Repurposing, restoration and maintenance of built heritage
Contractor Nico de Bont (a subsidiary of Hazenberg Bouw) is a specialist in the restoration, repurposing and maintenance of the built heritage. The company often works in collaboration with the repurposing studio Ozive, an initiative of the TBI companies Synchroon, HEVO and Nico de Bont. Their integrated, multidisciplinary approach makes an innovative contribution to the development and maintenance of the built heritage.
Nico de Bont began restoring a large number of iconic buildings in 2017, including the Dom Church in Utrecht, Naarden Fortress and the St. Eusebius Church in Arnhem. In Eindhoven, Nico de Bont repurposed the monumental Eikenburg monastery into 70 loft apartments in the social sector. The project is part of De Bossen area development, in which an old religious centre is being transformed into a care, educational and housing complex. In addition, Nico de Bont and Mobilis started to restore and enlarge the first and oldest museum in Amsterdam: the ARTIS-Groote Museum. Communication with local residents is particularly important in inner city areas because that is where the greatest inconvenience is experienced. As Nico de Bont is winning more engagements in the Randstad, the company has opened offices in the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam.
Together with Mobilis and Croonwolter&dros, Nico de Bont is carrying out the large-scale renovation of the Maastunnel in Rotterdam. Nico de Bont is responsible for all restoration work in this historic tunnel.