Rowers and sailors of Die Leythe must choose: move or renovate

CFP Green Buildings was commissioned by Sport & Bewegen to investigate how sports clubs can meet the climate objectives for 2050. It turns out that four out of five sports clubs can go sustainable cost-effectively. In this series we highlight the five sports facilities that were investigated. In this article: rowing and sailing club Die Leythe in Leiden, and the choice currently before them.

Moving or renovating

Rowing and sailing club Die Leythe has a big decision to make. The club is currently in talks with the municipality to move to a new location, some 700 metres away. Die Leythe has outgrown its current location. But it’s a place of historical importance for the club, because many Olympic champions have trained there. With an energy scan of various future scenarios, Die Leythe should be able to make the right decision.

Results of the energy scan

Project developer CFP Green Buildings carried out an energy scan. It showed that the club’s current energy consumption is relatively low compared to the benchmark. Most likely, this is because the heated part of the building is not in constant use. The building only needs energy for hot water and space heating. The lighting and thermostats are already optimally set, so there is little to be gained there. All in all, that means that it would be hard to recoup investments in sustainability. But: “Yes, we do look at the financial figures and payback periods. But as a club, you also have a moral obligation to become more sustainable. That is socially responsible renovation,” says the club.

Renovation can be sustainable

If Die Leythe wants to stay at its current location, a large-scale renovation and expansion is needed to make the club future-proof. This is an excellent opportunity to become more sustainable. That’s why in addition to an energy scan, we also looked at the potential sustainability measures that could be part of a large-scale renovation. This led to three scenarios.

Basic scenario

The basic scenario means going after the “low-hanging fruit”, such as LED lighting, solar panels and solar collectors. And renovating the roof and interior walls with insulation would also mean a few steps forward in making the building more sustainable. All in all, these are alterations that the club would be able to recoup in about 12.5 years.

Visionary scenario

In a more drastic scenario, CFP looked at replacing the current glazing (double glazing, but outdated) with HR++ or even triple glazing. The potential of adding floor insulation and a heat pump were also investigated. Because the club is located by the water, a heat pump could be connected to the surface water. The pier is in dire need of replacement. Such a replacement would be an opportunity to install the piping for the heat pump under a new deck.

Due to the limited gas consumption, the earn-back time of this scenario is very long. But on the road to 95% CO2 reduction, every little bit helps. So I feel like we should see these as social returns, with the property being renovated in a fully sustainable way and the building becoming future-proof.”

– Ilmar Bouwer, consultant at CFP Green Buildings

Comfort scenario

CFP also came up with a comfort scenario. This includes measures like floor heating and smart sun blinds — while the savings from these would be minimal, they would significantly improve the comfort of the members.


The average earn-back time for the three scenarios together is 31 years. With the help of various subsidies, this can be reduced to 26 years, or even shorter with a smart combination of the most effective measures. Various financing options were investigated, and the result was the most cost-effective form of financing.

To move or not to move?

The Leiden club now faces the dilemma of whether to stay or move. The architect is in favour of an objective comparison between renovation and moving, but in the end the choice will come down to the members. The report on sustainability will help the club to make a well-founded decision.

Want to get started with sustainability? 

Do you want to know how you perform compared to other sports clubs or do you want to know more about which steps you can take as a sports accommodation to become more sustainable the cost-effective way? Then take a look at Sport NL Green (NL) or contact us.

Contact Apeldoorn

CFP Green Buildings
J.C. Wilslaan 29
7313 HK Apeldoorn
The Netherlands
+31 (0)55 355 5199

Contact Naarden

CFP Green Buildings
Onderwal 16
1411 LV Naarden
The Netherlands
+31 (0)55 355 5199

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