The Netherlands Green Ecology and Design Tour

An educational tour that explores the benefits of advanced design and planning to create a more efficient and energy saving environment. The tour showcases many design options that enhance the environment and at the same time look good and save money. Options on new living space and business ideas make this an innovative and exciting tour to explore. This tour is ideal for students of architecture and ecology, or for organisations wishing to be inspired and informed by existing sustainable building projects.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day Two: Amsterdam

  • Meet and greet at Amsterdam airport by the experienced and specialist tour manager and transfer by coach for a tour of this cosmopolitan city.  Stops include a visit to the Anne Frank house.
  • In the afternoon the tour continues with visits to some of the ‘Green Roofs’; these are living roofs on the top of some buildings.  Then a visit to the docklands area, particularly the GWL Terrein area, designed as an environmental zone. There are minimal opportunities for the use of cars here and it was built using ‘green’ principles and materials. They also use solar power extensively, combining heat and power to save water, living roofs, recycling – so a great model for future cities.
  • Overnight stay in Amsterdam.

Day Three: Tour of Ecological Buildings and Designers

  • A morning visit to the first school built on sustainable principles in the Netherlands, meeting with the school administrator for a discussion on the building and the running of it.
  • An afternoon visit to the designers of the Eco-igloo; an alternative to the normal house that is incredibly efficient and can be built on solid ground or on a floating platform.  Using an ingenious system of heat exchangers and solar panels no external energy supply is required.
  • The final visit of the day is to Cabot who also builds floating houses,but these are more conventional. The group will visit a small village using their floating houses later in the tour.
  • Overnight stay in Amsterdam.

Day Four: Alterra and Zeist

  • A morning visit to Wageningen University, Alterra, with a meeting and discussion on sustainability and fair trade.
  • Transfer to Zeist to visit the new headquarters for the World Wildlife Fund in the Netherlands.  An old disused building has been transformed into a spectacular carbon neutral building that uses body heat from the people in the building and heat wells with exchangers, to warm or cool the building.
  • Overnight stay in Scheveningen.

Day Five: Innovation at the Zoo and in Tomato Production

  • A morning visit to the zoo to see the giraffe house, a sustainable building with many innovative ideas. The building is almost free of maintenance and the vast majority of materials can easily be used again or recycled. The 330,000 litres of rainwater, which the building collects annually, are used for the plants in an adjacent habitat. Rather than using fossil fuels, wood chips are burned for heating. On cold days the animals search for warmth at special designed ‘cuddle-walls’ (steel elements with low temperature heating inside). Warming-up the animals without heating the whole 4500 cubic meter building.
  • The second visit of the day is to Tomato World, where they grow 685 million kilograms of tomatoes per year here. The company’s greenhouses are fed with filtered carbon dioxide captured from the port of Rotterdam. This has two major benefits; lowering carbon dioxide emissions and increasing the productivity of the greenhouses.
  • An afternoon excursion to an Eco school with Green Flag status in nearby Rotterdam.
  • An overnight stay in Scheveningen.

Day Six: Massbommel and Utrecht University

  • A morning visit to Utrecht and the university, with its large green living roof, for a discussion about the reduction in waste from research.
  • An afternoon stop to view the floating village at Massbommel; the houses built by the Ecoboot Company visited earlier in the tour.
  • Meeting room in the hotel for two hours in the evening for discussions.
  • Overnight stay near Schipol airport.

Day Seven: Depart Amsterdam

  • Transfer to Amsterdam airport and one last glimpse of the green living roofs as the aeroplane departs Schipol airport!