Prof.dr.ir. V.H. Gruis
Professor of Housing Management - Department of Management in the Built Environment
Chairman of Department of Management in the Built Environment
"I am doing research on organisational strategies in housing management and am engaged in the question of how property managers and developers can adapt their stock and activities to societal challenges. Renovation and management of the existing housing stock is an essential part of the building task. There are significant challenges for corporations, developers, investors and governments.
How can we fulfil these tasks given the increasingly scarcer resources? How can we make housing more sustainable? What savings can we expect? What do you do if you want to convince external parties of the validity of your plans for improving the sustainability of a building? Our role is to create innovations in practice by translating our research into generally applicable concepts and applying approaches from business to the practice of housing management.
Perspectives and collaboration
Bringing together different interests and studying different perspectives are an essential part of our research. "This is no easy matter," I often think to myself when facing a challenge. Determining goals is far from achieving them; before you reach the end, there are all sorts of challenges.
In my opinion one of the success factors in achieving goals and ambitions is personal contact. If you want to change something, you should bring parties together, make plans and ensure that there is money. A plan works best when as many parties as possible fall in love with it, because they themselves are involved. And if a project or idea effectively succeeds in practice, others will go further with the idea, building upon it.
Innovators and practical knowledge
We predominantly undertake research with and for innovators, people and parties who think ahead and work towards it. We learn lessons from this that help us move ourselves forward and help them to hold their position. In many projects, we come in at the moment when a real start is made. A first step in progress. Our arrival often gives them an extra boost.
During my inaugural address I said that a chair derives its legitimacy from the benefit that it has in practice. It is not easy to demonstrate what our knowledge does in practice, but I think in the end it's in there. Practice is often part of a broad development. Our knowledge contributes to this development.
One of the most recent successes of the Chair is a four-year study in the field of organisational change in a number of housing associations. We are following this closely through a research project; a member of our department is actually working part-time for the associations during their renewal process. A lovely project. Thus, we can learn directly in practice what is going well and what is not and we are part of that change through active participation. "
Vincent Gruis has worked since 1996 at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, where he graduated in 2001 with a thesis entitled 'Financial-economic fundamentals for housing associations'. He has participated in various faculty committees, including the core group of Architecture Curriculum Renewal (CURVE). He is one of the programme leaders within 'Housing in a Changing Society’, a joint research programme with Management in the Built Environment and OTB. Vincent also speaks regularly at conferences and symposia and has published extensively in national and international magazines.