imagine 07

Reimagining Housing


Ulrich Knaack
Delft University of Technology
Linda Hildebrand
Detmolder Schule für Architektur und Innenarchitektur
Thaleia Konstantinou
Delft University of Technology
Hansjörg Wieland
3N Kompetenzzentrum Niedersachsen Netzwerk Nachwachsende Rohstoffe und Bioökonomie e.V.


book cover imagine 07 reimagining housing


This volume of the imagine book series is called reimagine housing because our intent is to identify new approaches for the refurbishment of existing buildings with a focus on residential housing. It’s that simple – and that complex!

The topic can be divided into several aspects which are reflected in the individual chapters of this book. Firstly, the technical background of a building and its energetic performance (this goes without saying!). A following chapter discusses the energetic value of existing constructions by evaluating the embodied energy of the overall construction, as well as the potential of building materials with lower embodied energy due to more sustainable production methods (an interesting new topic!). Then we have to study the potential and beauty of reuse – exemplified by some well executed cases which are divided into the following five categories: “restore,” “keep the spirit,” “refresh,” “spice it up” and “all new.” If we succeed in restoring a building’s spirit in one or other way and create a building that is appreciated and requires less operating energy and hence less carbon emission und low operational costs, we have addressed all relevant aspects.

What is the best way to go about this? We will not succeed if newly developed methods are only made accessible via formal descriptions or regulations. Knowledge needs to be spread in an accessible manner to entice people to do good: because it will provide better solutions, possibly even at no extra cost! This is the goal of the imagine book series in general – it is made for designers and users, manufactures and decision makers – expressing ways in which things can work in an aesthetic, technical, imaginative and resourceful manner. The books are intended to convince us to think differently and follow new paths.


G. Giebeler et al.: Refurbishment Manual: Maintenance, Conversions, Extensions, Birkhäuser, Basle 2009

G. Hausladen, M. de Saldana & P. Liedl: ClimateSkin: Building-skin Concepts that Can Do More with Less Energy, Birkhäuser, Basle/Boston 2008

L. Itard & F. Meijer: Towards a sustainable Northern European housing stock, IOS, Amsterdam 2008

R. McMullan: Environmental Science in Building, Palgrave, Basingstoke 2002

P.F. Smith: Architecture in a Climate of Change: A Guide to Sustainable Design, Architectural Press, Oxford 2005

M. Hegger, T. Stark & M. Zeumer: Energy Manual, Birkhäuser Architektur, Munich 2007

D. Spreng: Graue Energie- Energiebilanzen von Energiesystemen, Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH/B.G. Teubner, Zurich/Stuttgart 1988

H. König, N. Kohler, J. Kreißig & T. Lützkendorf: Lebenszyklusanalyse in der Gebäudeplanung, Edition Detail Green Books, Munich 2009

K. Daniels & R.E. Hammann: Energy Design for Tomorrow, Edition Axel Menges, Stuttgart/London 2009

U. Knaack, T. Klein, M. Bilow & T. Auer: Facades: Principles of Construction, Birkhäuser Verlag AG, Basle/Boston/Berlin 2007


architecture, refurbishing, Groningen, Niedersachsen


1 December 2012



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Details about this monograph

ISBN-13 (15)


Date of first publication (11)


Physical Dimensions

170mm x 240mm