On the 16th of May 2019, the second regional stakeholder group meeting took in place in Almere, Netherlands. This meeting took place simultaneously to the focus group meeting conducted by TU Delft. The aim of TU Delft's research, which is a significant part of the monitoring and evaluation of the three and a half year Housing 4.0 Energy project, is to identify and analyse institutional, legal, financial, and technical obstacles and barriers that might get in the way of the project’s successful implementation.
The H4.0E focus group is a specific research method which offers the opportunity to collect the information from different groups of experts on specific topics during an open discussion. Focus group evaluations on potential institutional, legal, financial, and technical obstacles and barriers are being conducted in all four H4.0E pilot countries. The research report with the conclusions will be made by the end 2019 by TU Delft, another Dutch H4.0E partner.
During the two hour discussion, eight experts from various expertises - including architects, representatives of a social housing association, sustainable energy experts, the National Agency for Real Estate and others - discussed the WikiHouse pilot in Almere. Within this realm, attendees discussed the obstacles in the realisation of the pilot as well as the chances of scaling up H4.0E in the Dutch housing market.
The main conclusion of the discussion was that there is a niche in the housing market for WikiHouses as affordable, near-zero energy homes. The affordability of the houses can be achieved by digitisation of the design and construction processes. Digitisation also offers the opportunity to build houses that are designed and constructed according the needs of end users.
There are some obstacles which are common for each innovation: some regulations that are the part of existing system, as well as the financial incentives and cultural aspects of the traditional construction sector and social housing associations. These identified obstacles make it difficult, yet not impossible, to adopt particular innovations within the H4.0E. The results of the focus group will be analysed during the upcoming month by reserachers from TU Delft and presented in the integrated report of all four pilots of the Housing 4.0 Energy project.