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The 19th century stable yard

The 19th century stable yard
NTPL Zoƫ Colbeck

Friday, 8 June 2012

Livinggreen the Dutch and Belgian way

Amidst turbine and cycle shed developments I popped over to Belgium and the Netherlands for a few days (by train, naturally), to meet up with our European project partners and to see what they're doing in Antwerp and Delft.

EcoHouse Antwerp was the first of our five centres to be finished and is the place in Antwerp for visitors to find out everything to do with sustainable construction, housing and sustainable living. An abandoned, industrial warehouse in the city centre was renovated into a lively information centre, similar to our Livinggreen Exhibition at Morden Hall Park. A few of the things I liked particularly were their water bottle exhibit which lights up to show people how much water is used in flushing a toilet etc, their imaginative display of unusual objects in which to grow food and their green roof (of course!)

Interactive exhibit showing water use, Eco-House Antwerp (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

Growing plants in violins, hot water bottles, detergent bottles etc,
Eco-House Antwerp (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The green roof at Eco-House Antwerp (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

I was also impressed by their local church, visible from their roof - the whole roof is covered in solar panels:
 The local church covered in solar panels, Eco-House Antwerp (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)
I then went on to Delft for our meeting at the White Rose Mansion, a listed building situated along the town's most important canal. As part of the Livinggreen Project, the mansion is being renovated using intelligent building technology (to ensure efficient energy and water use), environmentally friendly materials, PV-cells enclosed in a glass roof and some amazingly shiny wall heating:

PV-cells in the glass roof of the White Rose Mansion (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

Wall heating at the White Rose Mansion (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

The Delft canal on which the White Rose Mansion is situated (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

And as always when I go to the Netherlands, I never cease to be amazed by the number of bikes outside each station - so many that each part of the cycle park needs to be labelled - I liked the Vermeer one here in Delft:

Cycle park (or a small part of it), Delft station (NTPL/Caroline Pankhurst)

All partners in the Livinggreen Project continue to learn from each other (we're also working with France and Germany) and we're currently working on some joint publications for both home owners and organisations to learn from our experiences.

For more information on the project, see 

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