BouwhulpGroep (BHG) was established in 1978, and since then has dealt with over 500.000 buildings, in the role of architect, consultant or researcher. For more than 25 years BHG has been completing assignments of (semi-) government agencies, conducting research on the existing housing stock, energy efficiency, and affordability of buildings. BouwhulpGroep always has been active in the existing housing stock: in the past decades we have worked for more than 200 housing associations. As consultants and architects, we always place the occupant upfront. By the time BHG was founded, we were at the side of occupants as advisor, even teaching the tenants. This meant e.g. advising people how to react to their landlord who wanted to demolish their buildings, and let the landlord see that renovation provided equally (or even better) buildings. This line of work continued for several years, but later developed into the consultant and architects firm, what BHG is today. As architects, we did projects ranging from painting and colouring advise, through maintenance plans, towards deep renovation or even demolishing and designing new buildings, but always within an existing context. Some recent projects are re-designing 56 buildings into 28 single family dwellings in Vlaardingen, deep renovation of 10 buildings within the Active House vision in Montfoort, and the renovation of 720 buildings from 1920 in Philipsdorp Eindhoven. For an overview of these project see: http://bouwhulparchief.nl/architectuur/architectuur.php (in Dutch). As consultants, we often operate at the boundary of project and people. We look at the broad perspective of housing, including aspects of affordability, sustainability and market perspectives. Our assignments include evaluating energy efficiency of renovations considering technical aspects and people’s behaviour, but also developing models to help housing associations to plan maintenance and implement changes as well. For several years we have been functioning as experts for the municipality of the city Tilburg, where we support the tenant organization in the city. Because of our knowledge on the housing stock, and the combination of consultant and architecture expertise, we are often hired for complicated assignments, or as a second opinion, e.g. to bring jammed projects into life again, or to get support from occupants in cases where the housing association got stuck. Research has always been an important part of the company’s vision. 10-15% of the revenues has always been put into research on relevant topics. Besides that, several articles, publications and books were published, and conventions about refurbishments were organized. Currently one employee is placed via BouwhulpGroep at Rotterdam University of Applied Science as a professor on sustainable renovation. BouwhulpGroep consists of fifteen employees, with different backgrounds.
Haico van Nunen
He studied building and renovation at Eindhoven University (1999). Afterwards he did a PhD research on the effects of flexibility on the sustainability of a building. This resulted in the thesis ‘Assessment of the sustainability of flexible building’ on which the impact of the lifespan of a building is analyzed in relation to refurbishments through time (2010). Within BouwhulpGroep his focus lies at sustainability in its broadest way, including the possible impact of energy reduction, and what happens with the materials used. For housing associations his current task is to elaborate portfolio solutions: what do they have to do with all their buildings regarded in time, and what levels of renovation are suitable? With portfolio advise, he brings order in the portfolio, so the housing association can make choices towards the future. Next to his work at BouwhulpGroep he is also a professor on sustainable renovation at Rotterdam University of Applied Science. The focus of the research lies at the upscaling of energy efficient renovation. He is also part of the editorial board of Renda, magazine for renovation activities.