The project, in short

Zuyd University is realizing four innovative building objects, each year one and each one more ambitious than the previous one. The goal: gathering knowledge to realize 0-impact buildings and a 0-impact built environment. Energy producing, water producing and 100% made of renewable and recycled materials grown on-site, that is the goal of this program. The four building objects are part of a (small) district, The District of Tomorrow, which itself should be 0-energy as well, and produce and clean its own water. Zuyd is developing this learning and research environment for and with students, market stakeholders and the region.

The project is initiated by Zuyd and coordinated by RiBuilT, the Research Institute Built environment of Tomorrow. The initiative is part of a transition programme for the region, to cope with climate change, fossil fuels depletion and resource scarcity. The initiative becomes very special due to the fact that students design the projects (each year the winning design is chosen from the bachelor graduation project at Zuyd) and is constructed by pupils of construction schools in the region. The professional market is involved by helping constructing the projects, and research for innovative products and management. The whole area is seen as an open innovation platform, where market stakeholders, educational institutes and local government can kick off a transition towards a more sustainable region.

The ‘Eco//nnect’ is one of the four buildings that are being developed and will be constructed by students under the supervision of the appropriate expert. The ‘Eco//nnect’ is a building optimally integrated in the location and using the benefits of the site to a maximum. This is all within the frame of 0-energy and overall 0-impact. The Eco//nect sets an example for the new generation of developers, researchers, architects, constructors and users of the built environment of tomorrow.

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Project name Eco//nnect
Type (new/renovation) New
Designer(s) Leroy Merks + Roel Derkx
Owner(s) De Wijk van Morgen b.v.
Developer(s) De Wijk van Morgen b.v.
(Planned) Year of construction 2011
Address, Country Snellius 6-8 Avantis, Heerlen, Netherlands
Building life span 30 years
Heating-degree days 226
Cooling-degree days 139
Project gross area above ground [m²] 767
Project gross area (including below ground) [m²] 893
Site area [m²] 5237
Stories (above grade) 3,5 (15 meters)
Occupancy type(s) Office and public exposition
Typical building population

8 - 50 people

Number of operating hours / year 2000
Assessment phase development towards construction (summer '11)
Assessment tool EPC (EPU v. 202 (DGMR) Greencalc +)
(Target) rating under < EPC = 0,4

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