Sustainable Housing in Europe through best-practice comparison: news from TU DELFT


Housing is not only of key importance for society but also to reach Europe’s climate goals with a major transformation of the housing sector through energy-efficient renovation options and inclusiveness of renewable energy technologies. The energy crisis and energy transition have a huge impact on human behaviour in the built environment. TU Delft makes significant efforts in education on sustainable housing in Europe with a comparison of practices and holistic best-case studies from social, environmental, and economic aspects of sustainability and affordability in the energy transition in the housing sector.

In the Social Innovation Blueprint within the project, TU Delft aims to disseminate and integrate and learn from best practices across Europe. This Social Innovation Blueprint focuses on the lower- and middle-income occupants being tenants of not-for-profit profit not-for-profit (public) housing associations and owner occupiers in apartment buildings with owner associations. So far we have identified that optimising engagement and strengthening people’s position in affordable energy renovations on the district level in the countries of the European Union is significant.

To ensure fairness and inclusivity in the energy transition of the housing sector, it is essential to address the split incentive dilemma which occurs when the person or entity responsible for paying the energy bills (the tenant) is not the same as the person or entity responsible for investing in energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades (the landlord or building owner). Further implementing regulations that support occupants’ positions at the initiation of renovation projects as well as rents and energy contracts after renovations would be of great support.

The importance of sustainability and affordability in the energy transition of the housing sector cannot be overemphasised. The aim is to ensure that the transition is equitable and accessible to all, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Therefore, we have learned so far that gives the right information at the right time, social inclusion through engagement and co-creation of occupants in renovation projects and involvement in the process, clear regulatory structure, practical support during the renovation process, and policies with incentives are important. Co-ownership of dwellings and energy communities can also incentivize sustainable housing practices. The New Bauhaus program is an exemplary initiative that aims to promote sustainability and innovation in the building sector while ensuring inclusivity and community engagement.

We want to point out, that we need to ensure that the transition is sustainable by promoting renewable energy technologies and reducing energy consumption. At the same time, we must ensure that the transition is affordable and accessible to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status. With the Blueprints from the SHAPE-EU project, we aim to give recommendations for action and connect to international practitioners and young scholars!

From 03 – 14 July 2023, TU Delft is offering a Summer School on “Sustainable Housing from a European Perspective” to learn more about sustainable housing development and deals with environmental as well as economic and social sustainability. How do housing markets work and how do governments intervene? How can the affordability, quality, and energy efficiency of the housing stock be improved? The course will give insight into the European perspective on the development of a sustainable housing stock by presenting European and national goals, policies, regulations, assessment tools, process innovations, and management approaches. It will shed light on emerging economies and institutions in a similar context.

The application process is still open until 15 June (last call). Your application should include (1) a convincing motivation letter, (2) a short CV (2 pages maximum), and (3) a summary of research interests (one page maximum), and submit to . There are limited places available. The evaluation of the application will be based on the quality, considering first come first served. An early application is highly recommended. Considering the high demand and potential oversubscription, the application process will close as soon as 25 places are all filled up.

Find the whole program and application details of the course at TU Delft here:


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