Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) has the ambition to become one of the most sustainable universities of the Netherlands. Developing a green and sustainable campus is an important aspect of this ambition. The last couple of years, the university started developing a more sustainable campus. When constructing a new building, there is a lot of attention for sustainable aspects such as cradle-to-cradle concepts that contribute to a circular economy. Besides that, the existing buildings are managed as energy-efficient as possible.
Campus under construction
In 2011 the university started constructing campus Woudestein in the context of Tomorrow's Campus. The goal of Tomorrow's Campus is to create a campus with allure, which is both green, which gives space to sports and relaxation, as urban with different meeting points and facilities.
In the development of the campus, the university takes different measures to reduce energy and CO2-emissions. Examples of such measures are:
- Heat recovery to warm rooms sustainably.
- Installation of intelligent lighting.
- Installation of LED lighting.
- Smart cooling of datacenters.
- Installation of solar panels.
- Connecting buildings to heat/cold storage systems.
- Construction of green roofs (sedum roofs).
As part of Tomorrow's Campus, EUR has started with the construction of an energy-neutral sports hall and a new multifunctional education building (MFO II). Besides a high energy ambition, EUR has also set high ambitions for the construction of both buildings in terms of circularity.
Increasing biodiversity on the campus is one of the themes of Tomorrow's Campus III. In recent years, more colour has been added to the planting of permanent plants on the campus, which in turn attract bees and insects. Furthermore, no pesticides are used and weeds are removed as much as possible by weeding. Landscaping firm van der Gaag has been taking care of EUR's green maintenance since the EUR moved to campus Woudestein in 1968.
In 2019, a vegetable garden was opened on campus, which is maintained by Edible EUR and the Erasmus Sustainability Hub. The products from the campus garden are used by the Foodlab and the Erasmus Sport Café, amongst others. Besides the vegetable garden, the campus garden also provides a bee palace, which currently houses about 70,000 bees. Currently, EdibleEUR is working on an index of wild plants and insects they encounter at the campus garden, which students and staff can use to increase their knowledge about them.
BREEAM certification is currently the standard for determining the sustainability level of buildings and the built environment. For the new construction of the Multifunctional Educational Building (MFO II), it was agreed to achieve the highest score according to the 'BREEAM New Construction and Renovation' guideline: 'Outstanding'. For the design of the renovation of Tinbergen Building at the end of 2017, this first phase was successfully completed by obtaining the design certificate at the 'Excellent' level. In addition, we are now investigating whether the existing buildings can be certified according to BREEAM-in-USE. For future demolition of buildings, it will be examined if the ‘BREEAM Demolition and disassembly’ guideline can be used.