First eco-friendly residential district made by residents opened in the Netherlands
Housing in the Netherlands may be becoming more sustainable, but it’s not there just yet. There are however, communities which are making sustainable housing possible.
Together, residents, who are members of the Groene Mient association in The Hague, took on a project development role and have created an energy neutral residential district, which opened on September 12.
The Groene Mient
The eco-friendly residential area is situated in the Vruchtenbuurt in The Hague, where, the school, the Maris College once stood. There are 33 houses in the Groene Mient area, which surround an ecological garden.
The design of the residential area was created by Architektenkombinatie and FilliéVerhoeven, agencies in The Hague, in close collaboration with the residents, and was built by Sprangers, a construction company from Breda. All companies involved have experience with sustainable construction and collective private commissioning projects.
The residents of the area want to look after each other and the district, and they do this is part by using energy, resources and food in a sustainable manner. They refer to the project as a social ecological project, encompassing the social aspect as well as the eco-friendly goal. The residents share a communal area as well as the communal garden.
On a yearly basis the houses in the Groene Mient produce as much energy as they use for their heating and hot water, and they are not connected to the gas network.
In order to ensure that the residences are energy-neutral a few measures have been taken; heat pumps have been installed, and thermal collectors, which make use of the sun’s energy are present. Balanced ventilation, hot water recovery systems and solar panels are also in place.
The construction plans of the area also took into account how the use of the land could help in making it more sustainable. In order to prevent flooding or the dying out of the area due to climate change, infiltration channels were created in the garden.
The rainwater that runs off of the roofs and through the half-open pavements will be transported through gutters to the infiltration channels, allowing the rainwater to be retained in the ground or slowly drain into the ditch next to the Groene Mient.