14 February 2019

Utrecht University's buildings to become healthy, energy-generating and circular

Utrecht University has now opted for the following guiding principles when designing, building and managing university property: healthy, energy-generating and circular.

Luchtfoto USP De Uithof

Last week, the Executive Board adopted the ambition document 'Future-proof buildings'. 'We strive for a sustainable society. As a result, we are also putting these principles at the heart of our own operational management,' says President of the Executive Board Anton Pijpers.

The university aims to be CO₂ neutral by 2030. Creating future-proof buildings will help us achieve this.
Anton Pijpers onderaan trap
President of the Executive Board

Future-proof buildings: sustainable and affordable
A future-proof building revolves around the principles of health, energy generation and circularity. The university's new buildings will be designed to contribute to the well-being and performance of both students and staff. The buildings will generate energy instead of consuming it. They will also be dismountable to ensure that the raw materials in the building retain their value. In addition, the buildings will be adaptable to ensure that developments in research and education are fully supported. 'Future-proof buildings are essential for the development of a sustainable, vital and affordable campus,' said Fiona van 't Hullenaar, Real Estate & Campus Director. 'This benefits both people and the environment. It is also financially beneficial, for example because it helps to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs.' 

Sustainability simply makes sense
Fiona van 't Hullenaar
Fiona van 't Hullenaar
Director Real Estate and Campus

What else is Utrecht University doing?
In addition to creating future-proof buildings, the university is doing more. For example, it is generating energy by means of solar panels and using thermal storage facilities. It also buys sustainable vertogas and green energy generated by wind turbines in the Netherlands. There are also many other initiatives, both large and small, such as the recent removal of disposable water bottles from vending machines and the introduction of vegetarian lunches as standard

Anton Pijpers en Fiona van 't Hullenaar

Van 't Hullenaar: 'The fact that action is required was underlined once again this week by the climate letter, which called on universities to hone their climate policies and take measures to reduce emissions. A great initiative that will gradually make our university even more sustainable.'