demonstration projects

Collective renovation  

The aim of this action is to develop a new innovative approach to collective renovation. This includes installing roof, façade and floor insulation and installing super insulating glazing. The Flemish cities of Antwerp and Mechelen organize various demonstration projects on collective renovation. Antwerp will renovate 500 houses to low-energy buildings (E60) and 250 residences to nearly-zero-energy buildings (NZEB) (E30). Mechelen will renovate 75 houses to 30kWh/m2 and 50 houses to 50kWh/m2. The collective aspect of these renovations can be physical like a neighbourhood or virtual like a group buy-in or installation of one type of energy saving measure.


Collective renovation of 500 houses to low-energy buildings

Under this action, Antwerp will renovate 500 houses. The focus will be on three target groups: single family houses where resident is owner, dwellings inhabited by tenants, and socially vulnerable groups. Homes in apartments are excluded. This will be done in several steps: information collection on state of the art, engagement of stakeholder groups, co-creation of renovation strategy, selection of 3 pilot projects, implementation of pilots, upscaling of implementation to achieve 500 renovations, and publication of guidelines.

Collective renovation of 250 residences to NZEB

Under this action, Antwerp will renovate 250 homes. Homes in large apartments are excluded. This will be done in several steps: information collection on state of the art, engagement of stakeholder groups, co-creation of renovation strategy, monitoring of net energy needs before retrofit, implementation of pilot case to check proof-of-concept, upscaling of implementation to achieve 250 NZEB renovations, monitoring of net energy needs after retrofit, and publication of guidelines.


Demonstration project for collective renovation Mechelen 75 houses 30 kWh/m2 

Sustainable and energetic planning advice (action C6.3)

For major renovations, regular advice might not cover everything. That's why our architect gives sustainable planning advice. Residents who are planning major renovations can work together with their architect to review their plans, ensuring everyone receives tailored sustainability advice.

People often lack the technical knowledge to stay updated on new technologies or understand legislation. With this advice, we want to tell and encourage homeowners—working with their architects—to make their planned renovations more sustainable. Your home will be ready for the future and protected from climate change effects.

Our goal? To make nearly 75 homes Nearly Zero Energy Buildings – NZEB - (30 kWh/m²).

For more information and conditions, please check out the Mechelen Klimaatneutraal website.

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Demonstration project for collective renovation Mechelen 50 houses 50 kWh/m2

Collective and Individual Home Renovations (action C6.4)

To reduce CO2 emissions, there is an urgent need for more and better renovations. The city invests in collective renovations at the neighbourhood level, leveraging economies of scale to give sustainable renovations an extra boost. But of course, individual homeowners can also count on a lot of support for their renovation projects.

Collective / Neighbourhood renovations in Mechelen

In the 'Esdoornplein' neighbourhood, several homeowners wanted to improve their houses. The similar structure of the buildings made it easy for a contractor to handle the renovations. The residents of Esdoornplein decided to work together on sustainable renovations. The city provided professional guidance through a renovation coach, who assessed the houses and suggested energy-saving measures. Then, they all started renovating together.

In the Huyghebaert neighbourhood, Mechelen city went a step further by not only guiding renovations but also offering extra support. Thermal scans were conducted on the facades and roofs to identify areas of the greatest heat loss, and the energy consumption of the neighborhood was compared to that of the 20% most energy-efficient residents.

After that, the residents and the construction department worked together to plan the neighborhood's future. They applied for the building permit collectively, making it easier for residents and saving costs. This allowed the contractor to start renovations at the same time, leading to a group discount on the bill. Support on-site for grants and loans was the icing on the cake.

In the Arsenaal neighbourhood, the city initiated renovations through local efforts and key figures, reaching residents from all backgrounds. Based on this approach, they expanded support to improve living conditions, like dealing with moisture problems.

In the Nekkerspoel district, we face an extra challenge—this is a larger and diverse neighbourhood in every aspect. Here, too, our primary focus is on providing extra support to residents during their renovations. Previous projects highlighted the difficulty of finding contractors who can simultaneously handle various tasks at the neighbourhood level. Therefore, in these areas, we proactively make necessary arrangements with contractors to ensure smooth planning and execution of the works. We also offer tailored solutions for landlords, vacant properties, and apartments

Renovation guidance with a coach

For small changes (e.g., roof, facade, and floor insulation, super-insulating glazing, and sun protection) or sustainable energy solutions (e.g., solar water heaters, heat pumps, and PV panels) homeowners can get free guidance from coaches.

Private homeowners can count on coaches who:

  • Visit homes to conduct an energy scan
  • Provide insights into the EPC certificate of the property
  • Offer advice on making the home energy-efficient 
  • Assist in evaluating quotes and finding contractors
  • Support in preparing the building permit through collaboration with Thomas More (University of Applied Sciences)
  • Assist in applying for subsidy and loans

Renovating apartments, a unique skill

Renovating an apartment building is a complex challenge. Many apartments in Mechelen were built in the 1960s and 1970s, facing structural problems due to their age (for example: concrete decay). They often have less efficient windows and old heating systems, needing renovations. But with multiple owners and high costs, it's not easy to start.

Through the Condoreno project, an additional offer has been developed. 

Technical questions 

All Mechelen residents undertaking energy-saving measures and having specific questions about materials, certain techniques, or applications can reach out to our helpdesk.The technical experts will answer the questions, and if necessary, the expert will even visit the home to provide assistance. 

For more information, please contact: