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Last update: Sep. 1, 2016


ALMERE - Introduction

The Almere community is the largest of the four participant communities in the cRRescendo project. Almere is situated east of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Since the 1970’s, Almere, has committed itself to a programme of sustainable development. This manifested itself through the Environmental Plan 2003-2007, which targeted at 20% CO2 reduction within 6 years, 25% sustainable energy for housing by 2010, and the inclusion of a large scale wind energy network. Recently, the city has committed itself to the ambition to double the size of the city in a sustainable way, from 175,000 in 2005 to 350,000 in 2030. The concept of ‘Cradle-to-Cradle’ has been adopted and adapted to Almere in the so-called “Almere Principles”.

The Almere EnergyRich districts

In Almere two 'Energy Rich' districts are part of the cRRescendo project (Noorderplassen West and Columbuskwartier). About 2000 new dwellings have been built in three 'Energy Rich' classes:
eco-houses: to be built at least 10% more energy sufficient than the building standard at the time of building;
solar houses: solar energy plays an important role. The energy performance in these dwellings is 25% better than standard;
passive houses: going one step further. These dwellings have an energy performance which is 50% better than standard.

Noorderplassen West: energy-efficiency and Solar Island

Most cRRescendo dwellings in the district Noorderplassen West are eco-houses.
In this area some private dwellings have PV systems, but the major solar contribution is achieved by the Almere Solar Island.
For the first time homes in the Netherlands will be heated collectively with locally-generated solar energy. The Almere Solar Island is in keeping with the urban planning for the residential area and has become an icon in the Almere landscape. The way the island works is simple: water in the solar collectors is heated by the sun. The heated water will then be pumped directly into the district heating network that will supply heating and hot tap water to the new residential area Noorderplassen West. With a collector area of almost 7,000 m2 the Almere Solar Island was the fourth largest solar collector field in the world. The Almere Solar Island receives almost weekly highly interested (inter)national delegations.

Columbuskwartier: supreme CO2 reduction by polygeneration and solar energy

In the second cRRescendo district, Columbuskwartier, about 500 solar houses and passive houses have been built. On these and other houses and buildings in the district a total of more than 500 kWp PV panels have been installed. In realising its objectives, the heat for the 1,000 homes of Columbuskwartier will come from the Diemen 'Combined Heat and Power' (CHP) plant on the other side of lake IJmeer. In this respect the connection of all dwellings and buildings of the spanning district Poort to the district heating system is fed by this CHP system (a new pipeline connection from the 'Diemen' plant has been made through the IJmeer) obtaining a 93% CO2 reduction not only for Columbuskwartier but for the whole Poort district. On top the energy company NUON is required to deliver only green electricity in the Poort district.

Excellent example Columbuskwartier: Passive Houses BAM

At mid-autumn 2010, 103 Passive Houses have been delivered by developer BAM in Columbuskwartier. Passive houses combine a pleasant climate in combination with very low energy consumption, which means relative low energy bills for furture owners and less chances of rising energy costs. A clever design, right orientation to the sun and perfect isolation of walls and roof guarantee that little warmth escapes the building.
This means that hardly any energy is needed during the winter months. The energy is obtained by cleverly using the sun and the heat of the occupants and household appliances. The isolation not only keeps the warmth in the house during the winter months, but during the summer it regulates the intake of cold air. Because these houses have a limited demand for heat, the houses are kept warm with a balanced ventilation system and - if needed - extra heat can be supplemented by the disctrict city heating. This is the first time in the Netherlands that such houses are realised in a large scale building project as social rented dwellings. Besides the European Commission this project is also supported by AgentschapNL with a subsidy for energy research.

Last but not least

Several other buildings that make a community complete have been finalised, such as the International School Almere, the showcase Zero-Energy-House and the KlokHuis centre for education on sustainable building for children.
All three projects are iconic and paving the way for dissemination towards our professional target groups and stakeholders but also to children and citizens. Just like the Almere Solar Island the Columbuskwartier and Poort district receive since mid-2010 almost weekly (inter)national delegations and other interested groups and individuals.


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