De Groene Paal (The Green Pile) is future-proofing canal houses:

Amsterdam canal ring

How do you heat Amsterdam’s centuries-old canal houses in a sustainable way? Enter Amsterdam-founded De Groene Paal. Founder Flip Verbreek owned a construction company that brought luxury and ingenuity into new homes before deciding he wanted to use his knowledge more meaningfully. The De Groene Paal system installs piles that not only support the building, but extract heat from the ground. The liquid in the pipes heats up and provides a heat source for a heat pump located in the home. And, as well as cutting CO2 emissions and energy bills, in the summer the system can cool the house by circulating cold water. Win-win!

Amsterdam’s logistics hubs created a smart corridor for lean and green transportation: 

It’s no secret that gas guzzling engines and inefficient road networks have long contributed to huge CO2 emissions everywhere. In Amsterdam, the logistics and freight industry is actively trying to reduce its carbon tyreprint, including using electric vehicles or fossil-free fuel alternatives. One such initiative is the Connected Transport Corridor (CTC), a national partnership, including Amsterdam Westkant (west side), to make freight transport more sustainable and efficient by scaling up smart mobility solutions. The network includes hundreds of smart traffic lights that give the green light sooner if the road is clear, preventing unnecessary stops, saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions.

The tallest timber tower in the Netherlands is currently being built in Amsterdam:

Haut Amsterdam tallest timber construction in the Netherlands, image via Facebook

Wood isn’t exactly synonymous with cutting-edge technology, but the material forms a solid basis for innovation in sustainable construction. With Haut Amsterdam, soon to be the tallest wooden residential tower in the Netherlands, Team V Architects hope to restart a trend in timber construction. As opposed to concrete and steel, timber production doesn’t cause carbon emissions. It’s also renewable if harvested from sustainable forestry. The tower’s green credentials don’t stop there. The building is fitted with solar panels on the roof and facade, sensor-controlled installations with low-temperature floor heating and cooling, charging points for shared electric cars, and a rooftop garden with rainwater storage. 

A pilot project in Almere tests how solar energy and agriculture can thrive together:

Solar farm, sustainability, solar panelsOne challenge in transitioning to large-scale renewable energy lies in finding space for solar panels and wind farms without disrupting farmland, landscapes and livelihoods. A pilot project in Almere is aiming to prove solar power and agriculture can go hand in hand. Led by Swedish energy firm Vattenfall, solar panels will alternate with strips of organic crops. That means fewer solar panels are installed per hectare than usual. During the four-year project researchers will also use a sun-tracking algorithm to monitor the crop yield, energy yield, weather forecast, energy price and soil condition to optimise where possible.

The Johan Cruijff ArenA is going green (beyond the football field): 

The Johan Cruijff ArenA hosts thousands of football fans and music lovers, top international teams and the biggest names in pop. That’s a lot of space, lights and sound to power, but the stadium is filled with sustainable features that minimise its impact on the environment. It’s topped by a massive retractable roof covered in more than 4,200 solar panels and collects rain that’s used to water the football field. What makes it truly unique, however, is its huge energy storage system, the largest of its kind in Europe. Powered by old and new electric vehicle batteries, it provides backup electricity that replaces polluting diesel generators and reduces the strain on the local energy grid during concerts.

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