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Column Adriaan Mout | Installations and one pound of architecture

15 February 2019

Cobouw adriaan mout 190213 installaties en een pondje architectuur

Last week's national construction fair made clear for which target group in the construction industry the climate discussion will be the largest earnings model. The installation technicians and producers of everything that deals with this dominated the fair. As you might think, the solution to our climate problem is waiting to be picked up in terms of construction.

That reality can be unrulier, we experienced last week in our office building. After ten years, our second air-cooled heat pump installation resigned. In order to provide ourselves again with reliable heating and cooling, two large compressors had to be supplied from Italy. For this a polluting diesel transport over more than 1000 km was necessary. Therefore it remains a search for balance and it requires financial sacrifices. For the time being, also the consumer will still end up with much higher maintenance costs for his buzzing heat pump compared to a maintenance contract for his familiar central heating boiler.

The fact that at the moment the installation industry benefits in particular is also affecting our own branch, architecture. The ever increasing building costs are for a substantial part caused by the installations. In the event of retrenchment, this component is just as often the building structure not included. The reason: 'You simply need it'. Architecture, on the other hand, is completely dissected or if you are too careless, even gutted. This often results in a budget for architecture: one pound of architecture, please!

An installation system as the one in our company building can be replaced, but slender and stripped buildings determine our living environment for at least 50 years. The Amsterdam canal houses were originally built without installations, but flourish like never before. Then what is real sustainability? Also here we have to search for the balance. And for beautiful, sophisticated buildings with smart installations.

By the way, the appreciation of the advisors who have to design the buildings and installation systems is not at all in line with the gushingly rising construction costs. But more about that next time!

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