Focusing on accelerated property renovation


The combination of global warming and the energy crisis makes it clear to everyone that we must accelerate the renovation of the outdated Flemish housing stock. To achieve this, the barriers between public authorities, the construction sector and citizens must be removed as far as possible.

At the end of 2022, the Flemish government asked Energyville/VITO to develop a new data platform with a digital neighbourhood renovation tool as one of the applications. This tool will map the renovation needs of entire neighbourhoods in one go, so that specific advice can be given for each home and this can also be followed up.

Building on the DITUR research project

In the DITUR (Digital Twin for Upscaled Retrofit) project, various private and public partners accumulated knowledge with which to tackle the renovation challenge. The neighbourhood renovation tool will be able to use this knowledge to identify opportunities for governments, the construction sector and citizens. To ensure this, several endpoints are defined in the Digital Twin environment:

  • bidirectional API to give the renovation ecosystem access to data in the Digital Twin,
  • portfolio planner for energy houses and social housing companies.

Neighbourhood renovation tool

The neighbourhood renovation tool will support local administrators and partners by combining the most accurate and reliable data sources with the best tools and analytics available. This makes it possible to make concrete and follow up on collective renovation projects in a data-driven way.

Bidirectional API

All parties within the ecosystem must have access to the data in the Digital Twin. It must also be possible to have specific, validated information added or flow back to the Digital Twin to keep support for climate policy plans and renovation up to date. This could include data sources available to the government, more detailed spatial models, data from ‘local energy houses’ about renovation works carried out, building and rebuilding permits, energy audits and renovation advice tools.

Portfolio planner

Using the portfolio planner as an alternative CRM system, energy houses can quickly get an overview of the energetic details and the renovation potential of their building portfolio. It also allows them to share structured data with the Digital Twin. And social housing companies too can enter their housing characteristics in the Digital Twin and gain insight into the step-by-step plan towards CO2 neutrality through the portfolio planner.

Working on the future

EnergyVille/VITO is striving to embed the Digital Twin in order to support the wave of renovation in Flanders. A steering committee with representatives of the relevant departments of the Flemish government is drawing up a roadmap for this purpose, which makes it possible to expand the initial Digital Twin with new datasets or analysis for other typologies of buildings or applications related to energy communities. That way, the Digital Twin becomes an important tool in our long-term strategy towards a more sustainable housing stock.


Leen Govaerts and Pieter Van Den Steen

Leen Govaerts - Unit Manager Smart Energy and Built Environment - Energyville/VITO
Unit Manager Smart Energy and Built Environment
Pieter Van Den Steen - Senior Project & Product Manager Smart cities - Energyville/VITO
Senior Project & Product Manager Smart cities