One hundred million to make the TU Delft Campus more sustainable

TU Delft will invest heavily in making the campus more sustainable. In this way, the university gives concrete form to what was previously published Sustainable TU Delft – vision, ambition and action plan. In the coming years, we will work towards a CO2-neutral, circular and climate-adapted campus, with a focus on improving biodiversity and quality of life.

Sustainability Coordinator Andy van den Dobbelsteen and Jaco van Noppen, Director Campus Real Estate & Facility Management, are extremely pleased with this big step. Van Noppen: “With this, we are working step by step towards our sustainability goals and at the same time helping to scale up innovations outside the campus.”

A vibrant sustainable campus

“In 2030, people will study and work on campus in a vibrant, green environment, in buildings heated by sustainable sources,” says Van den Dobbelsteen. “The restaurants offer healthy and tasty food that is mainly plant-based and that is partly produced on campus. Procurement is based solely on closed cycles.”

Experiments will be conducted across campus for new sustainable techniques and processes. Van Noppen says: “Part of the investment is available to test innovations. We see the campus as a living laboratory, a realistic environment where you can achieve this. For example, we would like to start the high-rise buildings of the EEMCS faculty. We will among other things, testing an innovative solar chimney to see if it can be used for sustainable ventilation and the production of electricity.”

Fit for the future

TU Delft focuses on all aspects that affect the climate and the environment: buildings, energy system, procurement, waste management, mobility, food, etc. But also nature: for example, work is being done to improve biodiversity and make the campus climate-friendly in 2050. Andy van den Dobbelsteen explains: “With everything we currently develop, we take into account the expectations for the future climate: more floods, longer periods of drought, extreme heat and stronger storms. For example, we will use part of the campus to collect rainwater and use it usefully in the buildings.”

Energy-producing Echo education building on the TU Delft Campus. Photographer: Eva Bloem

Towards a zero-emission energy system

Many of the innovations have to do with the energy transition. Van Noppen: “We use sustainable sources for heating buildings and perhaps in the longer term also for housing in the municipality of Delft.” Part of the campus will have a heating network, with which heat from cooling processes can be stored in the ground and used to heat other functions. “Our new buildings on Campus Syd have so much residual heat that we can use it to heat an outdoor pool,” says Van den Dobbelsteen. “So we’re looking for creative solutions to get the most out of all the energy.”

TU Delft Campus as a living laboratory

Part of the sustainability budget is used to facilitate innovations. Van den Dobbelsteen: “Governments and other organizations struggle with sustainability; we want to remove obstacles.” This makes the TU Delft Campus a living laboratory for innovations. “This is where the strength of our scientists, engineers, designers, the government and business come together,” says Van Noppen. “In this way, we make an active contribution to society’s sustainability issues. In short : influence for a better society.”

Berlage Park on the TU Delft Campus. Image: TU Delft

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