Energy and buildings

Campus - Polak building

The university is powered entirely by renewable energy: our electricity is supplied by a combination of wind energy generated in the Netherlands and solar energy produced from photovoltaic systems mounted on nine rooftops across the campus. We rely on district heating for our heating and hot water needs but compensate for the ensuing emissions with carbon offsetting. Over the next few years in phases Erasmus University Rotterdam's is further reducing the heat-, electricity- and water demand of it's real estate. 

Campus Woudestein.
Alexander Santos Lima

Portfolio roadmap energy transition

As we continue to develop the campus, we are taking several measures to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions, including:

  • Sustainable heat recovery;
  • Applying intelligent lighting;
  • Application of LED lighting;
  • Smart cooling of data centers;
  • Applying solar panels;
  • Connecting buildings to CHP systems;
  • Installing green roofs (sedum roofs).
Campus Woudestein at night

We aim to meet the CO2 reduction targets set out in the Climate Agreement. The Climate Agreement (28 June 2019) states that sectoral roadmaps should be drawn up for sectors within social real estate. These roadmaps analyse what real estate is, and how its CO2 emissions can be reduced to meet the climate targets. We aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 49% by 2030 and 95% by 2050 (compared to 2021).

The purpose of the Portfolio Roadmap for the period from 2022 to 2050 is to provide a short- and long-term plan for the relevant property, indicating how adjustments will be made to this property in order to comply with the climate agreement.

Energy consumption

District heating energy consumption (generated with industrial residual heat) on campus Woudestein is 2023 has remained stable at 36,064 GJ, compared to 35,859 GJ in 2022. This is despite the two new buildings completed on campus in late 2022; Langeveld Building (BREEAM Outstanding) and Sports Building (energy neutral). Energy consumption is expected to decrease after the sustainable renovation of our largest building Tinbergen Building. This renovation will start in 2024.

Electricity consumption shows a decrease, from 16,328,001 KWH in 2022 to 14,215,357 KWH in 2023, despite increased electricity demand due to the energy transition. Drinking water consumption on campus increased from about 58,882 m3 in 2022 to 78,000 m3 in 2023. This can possibly be explained because there was still a lot of remote working in the first half of 2022 due to the corona pandemic.

Opening hours office buildings limited to save energy

Changed opening hours as of 1 april 2023, to reduce energy consumption

Dutch wind energy

Erasmus University Rotterdam is making use of renewable energy. The university purchases "Guarantees of Origin' from Dutch wind energy. For 2021, EUR bought 17.500 megawatt hours of wind energy. That is equivalant to about eight wind turbines running for the EUR throughout the year, providing sustainable electricity. 

Heat and cold storage (ATES)

EUR also applies heat and cold storage wherever possible, which is a method of storing energy in the form of  heat or cold in the ground. This technique is used to sustainably heat and/or cool buildings. The following buildings are already connected to ATES:

  • Erasmus Pavilion (incl. 1st floor of the Hatta building);
  • University Library;
  • Polak Building;
  • Sanders Building;
  • Erasmus Sport (new building);
  • Langeveld Building;
  • Theil Building.

In the future, Van der Goot Building, Tinbergen Building, Bayle Building and Mandeville Building will also be connected to the ATES system. Regular heat is provided by the district heating system (generated with industrial residual heat).

Students on the stairs of Langeveld Building
Eric Fecken
Zonnepanelen Erasmus Building

Solar energy

Finally, EUR also generates its own electricity through solar panels on the roofs of Erasmus Building, Theil Building, the University Library, the Erasmus Pavilion, Polak Building, Van der Goot Building and Mandeville Building. In 2023, the solar panels generated 358.613 KWh of electricity.  The university produces an annual energy report with detailed information on its energy consumption. 

BREEAM-NL

BREEAM certification is currently the standard for determining the sustainability of buildings and the built environment. The new construction of the Langeveld Building was done according to the highest 'BREEAM New Construction and Renovation' guideline: 'Outstanding'. In addition, it is now being investigated whether the existing buildings can be certified according to BREEAM-in-USE. For the future demolition of buildings, it will be investigated whether this can also be done via BREEAM-NL Demolition and Dismantling.

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