To further boost the pace of renovation, the Flemish government is investing in a digital neighbourhood renovation tool (Dutch only). With this tool, the renovation needs of entire neighbourhoods can be mapped digitally in one go. Specific advice can then be given per household, linked to guaranteed follow-up. The tool will run on a new digital platform that will be developed by EnergyVille / VITO on behalf of the Flemish Government.

Global warming on the one hand, and the energy crisis on the other, are creating the need to accelerate the renovation of our ageing housing heritage. This is partly why Flemish minister Bart Somers developed the Local Energy and Climate Pact, within which an important focus lies on collective renovations. Within this pact, the participating local authorities committed themselves to organising climate panels that bring citizens together around the energetic transformation of their neighbourhood.

A big obstacle to renovation is the time and effort it takes to figure everything out. I want to unburden people and neighbourhoods as much as possible by starting up collective projects to scale up the renovation wave. With climate panels and the neighbourhood renovation tool, local governments can start working citizen by citizen, neighbourhood by neighbourhood. Climate panels bring neighbourhoods together and allow citizens to map out a renovation route together. The neighbourhood renovation tool will provide tailor-made renovation trajectories for each property in a neighbourhood linked to a cost-benefit analysis. This will speed up implementation and reduce costs.

Bart Somers
Flemish Minister for Home affairs

The neighbourhood renovation tool will run on a digital platform being developed by EnergyVille / VITO, making maximum use of existing Digital Twin building blocks and standards. Through this platform, the tool uses data on the housing stock and public data sources. On top of that, it can simulate what economies of scale can be generated by a collective approach. 

It is clear that collective neighbourhood renovations offer huge potential for Flemish people. Digitisation can give this a huge boost. For this, there is still a need for cooperation, research and innovation. Flanders is at the European top when it comes to innovation, so we can use a Flemish knowledge institution such as EnergyVille / VITO to accelerate these developments. This ensures that we can help both local authorities and the Flemish population to renovate their homes more quickly for more comfort and lower energy costs.

Jo Brouns
Flemish Minister for Innovation

The challenge of making our Flemish homes and neighbourhoods climate-neutral is enormous. With the Digital Twin, we can make a difference by unlocking all available data and making it available to the ecosystem of actors in the renovation sector - from energy auditors to contractors, and from IT software companies to ESCOs. This should allow accurate advice to be obtained even faster via smart algorithms for individual homes and collective solutions. This will make a renovation process more efficient and faster for everyone: citizens, local authorities and companies.

Dirk Fransaer
Managing Director VITO

In addition, the Energy houses can also provide data. Initially, the tool will be used by local authorities and the Energy houses. They will analyse in different neighbourhoods how much a renovation trajectory costs, what it brings in, and inform citizens. A cooperation between local governments, the Energy houses and their partners will ensure the follow-up of these trajectories.

Flanders has the second-best renovation strategy in Europe. In the current structural energy crisis, the Flemish government is therefore opting for a structural solution. We encourage people with the My Renovation Grant and the interest-free My Renovation Loan to insulate and renovate their homes. In this way, the Flemish people will see their energy bills fall in the long term. This new tool will help bring that renovation strategy up to cruising speed.

Zuhal Demir
Flemish Minister for Energy

Want to know more

Find out more about the neighbourhood renovation tool Digital Twin. (Dutch only)

+32 14 33 51 41