Sustainability is the primary research focus of HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. Our research group develops and shares knowledge with companies, institutions, governments and citizens with the aim of making cities more sustainable and liveable. Our focus is on energy transition in the built environment and on circular construction, management, maintenance and renovation.

Lines of research within the research group

Construction is a complex process. Many products and parties are involved. Moreover, higher demands are being made in terms of energy and circularity, user choice and adaptability, among others.

To meet such demands, we need new products, processes, concepts and tools. Within the research group we tackle this issue through co-design. We build on the latest insights from systems engineering, integrated product-process development, organisational science and risk management.

If you want to renovate homes to be energy-neutral or gas-free, various measures must often be combined. Resources, time and capacity for innovation are limited, so what do you focus on? How future-proof are the existing renovation concepts for individual terraced houses? How should we deal with climate change? Solutions are also needed for other types of buildings, such as flats.

Shaping the energy transition means examining each street and neighbourhood to determine which approach would lead to the optimum result. At the same time, residents need to know that they are being supported during their selection process and that the professionals involved are able to organise their work efficiently. In this line of research, we work with partners from professional practice to develop resident-oriented solutions. In doing so, we have opted for designing in co-creation.


  • One Stop Shop housing renovation



Our research results are incorporated in the degree programmes of Engineering, Built Environment, as well as in other programmes. These results are even stimulating the emergence of new degree programmes. Thanks to our research, HU graduates are professionals who have developed the necessary knowledge and skills to make cities, neighbourhoods and (parts of) buildings energy neutral and circular.

Examples of sustainable power Mieke Oostra

“The energy transition cannot be solved by a single knowledge domain. We will have to explore new ways of planning to tackle complex tasks in an interdisciplinary manner, with precision and more support”

Mieke Oostra Professor of New Energy in the City


The research group collaborates in research and other projects with various local and regional authorities, civil society organisations, institutions and companies in the construction and installation sector.

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Our professors and researchers

Mieke Oostra | Professor | New Energy in the City

Mieke Oostra

Professor New Energy in the City Show profile
Henk Brinksma | Researcher | Researh group New Energy in the City

Henk Brinksma

Researcher New Energy in the City Show profile
Liza Looijen

Liza Looijen

Researcher New Energy in the City Show profile
Wilko Planje | Researcher | Research group New Energy in the City

Wilko Planje

Researcher New Energy in the City Show profile

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