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Making renovation

The VELUX Group opened its latest demo building – the RenovActive house – in Brussels, Belgium on 18th May. 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 by 2050. It is therefore essential to renovate the ageing 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.

Social Housing

To implement RenovActive, the VELUX Group 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:

  1. Installation of windows on the front of the house and the roof in order to provide maximum daylight
  2. Positioning of a staircase lit by two skylights in the centre of the house to provide natural light on every floor, as well as "stack effect" ventilation
  3. Installation of a hybrid ventilation system, combining natural and mechanical ventilation
  4. Installation of exterior solar protection for optimal thermal comfort
  5. Creation of an effective thermal envelope by insulating the exterior, with new roofing and vertical windows
  6. Installation of a simple and comfortable heating system, comprising underfloor heating on the ground floor and radiators for the upper floors
  7. Construction of an extension to gain floor space on the ground floor

Timeline of the project

RenovActive opens its doors on 18th May 2016 and is available for visits for 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.


of residential buildings today will still be in use by 2050

May 2016

The official opening of the house


A family with three children will occupy the house for two years

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