VELUX opens RenovActive
Sustainable renovation for everyone
Following a seven-month renovation project, the VELUX Group today officially opens its latest demo building – the RenovActive house – in Brussels, Belgium. The aim is to demonstrate that climate renovation based around the Active House principles of energy efficiency and indoor comfort can be affordable.
RenovActive, an innovative answer to the challenges of renovation in Europe
Almost half of Europe’s buildings were built between 1945 and 1980, and it is estimated that 90% of residential buildings today will still be in use in 2050. It is therefore essential to renovate the aging European housing stock.
RenovActive offers a simple, innovative and affordable solution to this challenge. Using existing techniques and materials, the RenovActive concept offers an example of how to transform European housing into healthy and sustainable living space, and provides a renovation concept that can be replicated on a large scale.
Origins of the concept
Between 2009 and 2011, the VELUX group invested in the construction of six experimental demo homes across Europe, as part of the Model Home 2020 project. This project provided an understanding of what was possible in terms of meeting future needs of sustainable accommodation, using current techniques and materials. The RenovActive project takes advantage of the many lessons learned from this experience in order to meet current renovation challenges.
To implement RenovActive, VELUX joined forces with "Le Foyer Anderlechtois", a social housing association which owns 3,740 housing units in Brussels. An 80m² semi-detached house built in the 1920s and in an advanced state of disrepair has been completely renovated, to offer its new inhabitants high-quality accommodation. The renovation has been carried out within the budgetary framework of Brussels Social Housing. Between now and 2018, le Foyer Anderlechtois plans to renovate 86 houses based on the RenovActive concept.
Renovation + Active House = RenovActive
The RenovActive concept is based on the Active House principles, designed to balance comfort (through a healthy indoor climate with a maximum amount of natural light and optimal ventilation), energy efficiency and respect for the environment.
The RenovActive concept comprises seven replicable renovation elements:
- Installation of windows on the front of the house and the roof in order to provide maximum daylight.
- Positioning of a stairwell lit by two skylights in the centre of the house to provide natural light on every floor as well as "stack effect" ventilation.
- Installation of a hybrid ventilation system, combining natural and mechanical ventilation.
- Installation of exterior solar protection for optimal thermal comfort.
- Creation of an effective thermal envelope by insulating the exterior, with new roofing and vertical windows.
- Installation of a simple and comfortable heating system, comprising underfloor heating on the ground floor and radiators for the upper floors.
- Construction of an extension to gain floor space on the ground floor.
Timeline of the project
RenovActive opens its doors on 18 May 2016 and is available for visits for a period of one year. In spring 2017, a family with three children will occupy the house for two years. During this period, energy, heat and water consumption, as well as the interaction of the family with the house, will be monitored and analysed.
About RenovActive partners
The architectural design of the house was entrusted to the architects ONO Architectuur. The implementation and monitoring of works was undertaken by the Troubleyn company.
VELUX joined forces with various commercial partners, who provided products for the renovation of the house. The Saint-Gobain group, Renson, Grundfos, Somfy and Wienerberger enthusiastically supported the RenovActive project.
With regard to furnishing the home, Kvik and De Kringwinkel partnered with RenovActive for the kitchens and some of the interior furnishings, respectively.
 For more information about natural light within the RenovActive please look under the downloads at Natural light is invited in the RenovActive house (in French)
 For more information about ventilation within the RenovActive please look under the downloads at Healthy living starts with a quality habitat demonstrated by the RenovActive home (in French)
 For more information about The RenoveActive house partners:
For 75 years, the VELUX Group has created better living environments for people around the world; making the most of daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product programme includes roof windows and modular skylights as well as a range of decoration and sun screenings, roller shutters, installation solutions and intelligent home controls. These products help to ensure a healthy and sustainable indoor climate, for work and learning, for play and pleasure. We work globally – with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 40 countries and around 9,500 employees worldwide. The VELUX Group is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by foundations and family. For more information, visit www.velux.com.