Glenn Jones

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The challenge of making the Dutch housing stock futureproof: figures, activities and business models

This post is a record of the questions and answers I’ve encountered while researching this topic. This is a work in progress.

What is the split between existing housing stock and new construction in the Netherlands?

At the start of 2023, there were 8.125.229 dwellings in the Netherlands, with an expected net addition of ±79.000 dwelllings over the course of 2023. This represents ±1% of the existing stock.

This net addition breaks down to: (estimated figures for 2023):

Sources: CBS Statline, Bouwproducten blog, ING Building & Construction outlook

To what degree is the housing stock futureproof?

To get a grip on these figures, I group dwellings into buckets according to their year of construction. There are two clear demarcation points between these buckets: the first one around 1920-1925, when single layers of bricks started getting replaced by two layers with a layer of air inbetween. The second demarcation point is around 1975-1985, when the layer of air inbetween the bricks is usually filled with isolation material, and double-layered glass is used more and more.

Percentage of total area by dwelling type and year of construction

Source: CBS Statline, Woonbewust

Looking at the figures we can see:

What activities relate to the futureproofing of dwellings?

What types of companies are active in this domain? What niches do they represent?

What services do these companies provide?

We can look at this through the lens of the phases that a project goes through. Not all companies cater to all phases, so we need to identify the phases to be able to relate the companies.

In the built environment, a typical business to consumer project has the following phases:

  1. Explore: explore opportunities, provide rough financial indication, feasibility study
  2. Plan: make plan of approach, design solution
  3. Procure: get the raw materials, do manufacturing to get the materials ready for installation
  4. Execute: installation of the materials

There is also an overarching financial aspect, effectively providing loans for the services, and/or allowing customers to split the payment into chunks.

Companies provide services in these domains through different models. Below a summary of how a couple of those models span across the different phases:

Phases and roles

I’ve searched for companies offering services within all the above mentioned niches, and I’ve looked at the type of services they provide. The table is to be understood as: for each checked intersection, I was able to find at least one company offering this specific service, for this niche.

Applied models

From this we can derive:


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