Fit-out innovation to sale

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The development of new products in the area of fixtures and fittings is a wonderful stimulus. The four projects described in the Open Design Pocketbook were forced to use the first generation products. But since 1985 we have seen a new series of mounting elements at fit-out level. In the Netherlands, three systems distinguished themselves in the 1990s: Esprit, Prowon-Interlevel and Matura.

The innovations in the field of piping, one of the major technical issues, are interesting. Esprit introduced a so-called bubble floor, under which the pipes can be concealed, specially designed for bathrooms and kitchens. Prowon installed a fitted floor on screw pumps in a so-called variozone of 2.40m of the base building floor across the entire width of the living space. Matura applied a combination of a raised floor on foam tiles in the entire house for all the piping and so-called skirting boards at the bottom of inside walls for all the wiring. The pocketbook Inbouw Innovatie (Fit-out Innovation), included in the downloads, attempts to stimulate the development in the design of new fit-out elements via patterns. In the area of housing provisions there is so much more still to be designed. That will certainly happen once the demand for fit-out kits increases. The three systems mentioned have really stimulated a first new stream of products into motion.

Fit-out for sale

In every day practice we also see promising developments that are completely in line with Open Design. In May, 1993, the Utrechts Nieuwsblad reported that in 1994, the Amsterdam housing association, Het Oosten, would give the residents the interiors of its 15,000 rental properties the opportunity to purchase. For an average of € 10,000, the tenant could become the owner of all the doors, interior walls, central heating, kitchen, bathroom and tiling. If the tenant moved house his money would be refunded. It was then carried out in 1996 for the first 239 homes, including a mortgage option from Aegon that in those years was deductible until the Ministry of Finance withdrawal that possibility around 2005.

This Casco concept was thought up by the Board of the then Housing Association Het Oosten because most tenants acted like owners. Half of the homes were decorated to suit personal tastes with personally chosen hard floors, coloured wall tiles and fireplace. Ten percent had even carried out major renovations, complete with new kitchen, bathroom, central heating. In exchange for his investment, the buyer was given a reduction in rent of at least 25 percent, which according to Het Oosten was a generous compensation for interest and repayment of the purchase price. Due to the level of interest and the efforts of the residents of this DIY fit-out it was a great success! This is also repeated in later years in the Apeldoorn corporation De Goede Woning (The Good House) as expressed in the blog about it.

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