How do we make necessary updates to the ageing housing inventory in our cities – i.e. make these homes energy-efficient and enable modern living comfort without compromising their appearance or the streetscape of which they form a part? This question led to the ‘testcase’ renovation in Mechelen in Belgium.

Project details

Reference object
renovation testcase Mechelen, Belgium
Architect
ROVE Architecten
Client
Private
Clay roof tiles used

Koramic Tempest tile 44, Anthracite Terca Blue Velvet

Renovation 'testcase' Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation testcase Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation 'testcase' Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation testcase Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation 'testcase' Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation testcase Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation 'testcase' Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation testcase Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation 'testcase' Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation testcase Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation 'testcase' Mechelen, Belgium

Renovation testcase Mechelen, Belgium

Not satisfying living comfort

The initial situation: The terraced house which is partially below ground level, with its small city garden dates back to the early 1950s. The roof, facades and floors were not insulated. The facades were made of solid stone, with the exception of the southern one, which had a limited cavity space. The living comfort of the home was not satisfying.

The key: A well-insulated building envelope

The bricks of the facade were stripped off. The vacant space was utilised to add sufficient insulation. Because the city building regulations do not permit any extra building depth onto open land, the new facade was finished with stone strips. The ceramic material respects the authentic character of the home and thanks to its irregular pattern and thin joints gives the entire building an unmistakably modern touch. The result is a robust facade with a solid appearance and long lifespan. The roof has been completely renovated to provide insulation which meets modern standards, a high-quality sub-roof and an outer finish in clay roof tiles. Insulating a sloping roof creates a space that can be quickly heated.

Sustainable development

The renovation work provided the opportunity to install a rainwater tank which is connected to the renovated sloping roof. This ensures maximum capture of clean rain water, which is re-used for flushing the toilet, operating the washing machine and an outside tap.

Financial, energy-related and added aesthetic value

The inhabitants are justly proud of their renovated home. “We now see that people who walk down our street stop and admire our house. When we think of all the time, money and effort that we have invested in our house, we realise that we have really achieved something special. Thanks to the renovation and insulation of the outer shell of the building, our energy costs are not the only thing that has improved. We now live in a more beautiful, healthier and more comfortable home. If we ever move, we will be able to count on a considerable return on our investment. The figures show that this investment will give us a return of about 20 %. But selling is the last thing we would think of right now.”

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