‘Zelfbouw’ means that a private or group of private individuals buys building land and decides for themselves what is being built and with which parties (architect, consultant, contractor etc.) there is cooperation. The official name for ‘zelfbouw’ is ‘private commissioning’. The idea of ‘zelfbouw’ is that the resident has his own house built outside of project developers.

The ever so busy Petroleumhaven in Laakkwartier in The Hague will transform in the coming years into a modern and versatile residential area. Living, working and urban relaxation will be developed hand in hand. On the south side of the plan area will be started with waterfront dwellings on free plots in a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 4 storeys of 14 meters in total. This is one of the self-building projects in The Hague that Studio Flex is working on.

From the end of August 2018, work will be done to replace the quay wall along Petroleumhaven and Calandkade. The municipality combines this work with the preparation of the area for construction. The plan is based on approximately 300 properties that can be built in the coming years, including:

  • 2 residential towers
  • Individual plots for land-bound waterfront dwellings
  • Lots for living above business premises
  • Lots for apartment blocks for building groups
  • Lots on the water for ‘water houses’

The plots of land are situated on the side of the Waldorpstraat and the Neherkade and are situated at the harbor. The waterfront dwellings will feature the front door on the quay side. The quay will be car-free (there is relatively little motorized traffic) and will only be accessible to emergency services. The street between the commercial buildings is issued as ‘shared’ land.


In principle, there is a lot of freedom with regard to the design, as long as the predetermined preconditions are being followed. Below are a number of important conditions to take into account:


  • The buildings are located within the indicated construction area
  • The buildings have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 4 layers of 14 meters high
  • There is building with the neighbor’s building
  • The facade is built on one side with the neighbor’s building in the fixed building line.
  • Building walls are anchorless cavity walls


As a self-builder you have a great influence on the degree of sustainability of your home. However, you must meet a number of requirements. Therefore;

  • the houses no longer have a gas connection.
  • the rainwater of the house should be discharged into the gravel pits
  • the non-built part of the plot may only consist of a maximum of 50% of pavement
  • flat roofs are provided with vegetation with plants, in combination with solar panels
  • a nesting facility for birds must be included in the facade of the house

The municipality of The Hague makes use of the ‘GPR Gebouw’ with which the sustainability is tested on the themes of energy, environment, health, quality of use and future value. The requirement is an average score of 7 on the different themes. The houses now no longer have a gas connection and the houses will no longer receive district heating. As an alternative, you can think of an individual heat pump that is connected to a soil heat system of vertical heat exchangers or electric heating.


At each lot, at least one parking spotmust be created, of which the location is fixed. The parking must therefore be resolved on site or in an adjacent garage. No parking permit is granted to the residents and businesses for the public space. In the vicinity there is limited possibility of paid parking along the public road for visitors. More information about this and other projects can be found on the website www.ikbouwindenhaag.nl.

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