Energy Campus is a campus site in Leeuwarden that supplies green energy, is integrated into the landscape inclusive the integration of an existing landfill site
The Energy Campus is an initiative of Royal Oosterhof Holman. It is a triple helix partnership of education, business and government to stimulate innovations and economics in the region.
The Campus is built on a landfill and architecturally integrated into the landscape. The new function of the landfill and the spin off developments in the brownfields surrounding gives a boom to the economics in the region.
Green energy for the Campus is provided by bio-digesters and a nearby ice skating track is provided with green energy form landfill gas .
Cooperation with the educational institutions is the important spearhead within the Campus. A special part of the Campus is the integration of the existing closed landfill site in the plan by making experiments, offices and energy generation and storage possible and constructing it at the landfill site. All constructions on the landfill have to be designed in such a way that no damage is done to aftercare measures. For example stock piling through the landfill is forbidden, as it will damage layers. Therefore the first building on the closed landfill site stands on 108 different legs, each with its own concrete slab. This construction ensures that the building can absorb the settlements of the landfill site without having a negative impact on the aftercare requirements of the province. Despite all the technical challenges, the architect has succeeded in making a design that fits in with the landscape, in which circularity is leading.

Resources needed

Funding and knowledge from Triple Helix Partners:
Educational institutes (NHL-Stenden, ROC Fryslân, University Campus Fryslân (UCF), Wetsus and University of Melbourne);
Business (Royale Oosterhof Holman and Ekwadraat);
Government (Province and Municipality Leeuwarden)

Evidence of success

This is a good example of a triple helix partnership where innovations are stimulate and incorporated due to a partnership between science, business and local government, where new functions are given to the landfill site. The realization has demanded a great deal of coordination between the province of Friesland, designers, developers and the competent authorities. In which everyone's interests had to be safeguarded, of which the aftercare requirements are an important part.

Difficulties encountered

In order to meet the province's aftercare requirements, the project team initially imposed strict terms on the conditions for construction. Initiators decided to be on the safe side when determining the requirements. In retrospect some provisions might have been more flexible on second thought.

Potential for learning or transfer

This good practice demonstrates that it is possible to build on a landfill site with respect to aftercare requirements. Thorough preliminary research into the structure of the landfill site was therefore required for a successful project. This concept can be applied to other European closed landfill sites and thus give more value to society. However, this requires commitment from the landfill site owners and the competent authorities. Outside the box thinking without compromising safety and aftercare requirements is essential.
Most important the Energy Campus has given a boost to area developments and economics in the region.

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Main institution
Energiecampus Leeuwarden BV
Friesland (NL), Netherlands (Nederland)
Start Date
January 2007
End Date


Jan Frank Mars Please login to contact the author.