The dangers of climate change have led to measures to make the built environment more sustainable. Most attention is being given to energy use. We realise, however, that water management is also extremely important for the quality of life in our region. For that reason, frameworks have also been set in UT's real estate policy for guiding the transition to sustainability.


University of Twente is continually working to make the organisation more sustainable. It is our mission to respond to societal needs by developing sustainable, proactive measures to support our planet and the people who live on it. We are dedicated to environmental, social and economic sustainability in our education, research, innovation and the way we run our own organisation. We also develop our real estate sustainably. This film shows the highlights of all the sustainable elements in the most recent projects on UT’s campus.

ITC building- Langezijds

Sustainability ambition

Our green campus offers a living lab for research and education and inspires us to use sustainable operational management. The environment and the climate are the centre of gravity for teaching, research and operational management.

The core business of the University of Twente is research, education, and valorisation. Sustainability is a key subject in our education and research programmes. In particular, the University of Twente is a clear front runner in terms of research, and the university has distinguished itself by providing practical solutions.

The new ITC building must, therefore, not only meet the statutory requirements in the area of sustainability, but also our additional ambitions in all areas of sustainability. The building must provide an excellent realization of the priorities ‘green’ and ‘sustainable use.’

Certification framework:

Decided is that the building will be certified on the basis of the GPR Building label. This applies to defining a basic sustainability level as well as to the concrete realization of the vision. The ITC building must have a minimum sustainability level based on GPR Building with an average score of 8.0 and a score of 9.0 for Energy. The building will be GPR certified. Sustainable use of the building is realised by optimum use of space and aiming for healthy users. 

Green credits GPR Building

(Minimum) requirement

Impact on sewage, soil and groundwater

> 75% of roof surface is extensive green roof.

Measures against fine particles

A green roof or green façade has been applied.

Visual comfort

Green view from at least 50% of the rooms.

Future more sustainable equipment

Façade ready for green façade.

Educational value

Visible facilities for biodiversity.


The building meets the following BENG requirements in addition to the statutory framework which will become effective mid-2020.  

Building function


Energy need



Primary fossil energy consumption


3 -

% renewable energy on location

Education and meeting function




Office function




Use of water:

Use of circular materials:

During the realization of the building recycled materials are used for at least 35% of the volume. This must be demonstrable by means of materials lists and statements of the origin of the materials.


Smart and sustainable

Technohal is not only sustainable, it has a smart design. Toilets flush with rainwater and ceiling panels can be used for heating, cooling and controlling the acoustics. The lighting, temperature and reservation of space has been set up in a modular way allowing for flexible control, which means we can make a lecture hall or student area into office space or vice versa.

Contact Centre

Uit Eigen Bodem has come up with a sustainable energy concept to heat and cool the new Contact Centre by extracting heat from the earth. Uit Eigen Bodem is a startup that has been brought into contact with the university through a development program of the Province of Overijssel called Start Up in Residence. Find out more how this concept works in the video below.


Concrete-free pavers will be used for the paving of parking lot De Es. In addition, on the initiative of Professor Albert van den Berg, BIOS Lab-on-a-chip Chair, UT campus' parking lot De Es will be using olivine from greenSand as infill. By using the mineral olivine as paving infill we will be reducing our CO₂ emissions. The BIOS Lab-on-a-chip Chair will thereby be compensating a portion of the CO₂ emissions of last year's air travel. 


Water storage under parking lot De Boerderij

We have installed a water buffer and infiltration system with underground storage, AquaBASE, under the Faculty Club parking lot. UT was one of the first in the Netherlands to install this system: our campus was a testing location. The results of the first year have been monitored and the test was successful. The system comprises water permeable stones with joints of a couple of millimetres for a good flow-through rate and infiltration capacity. The sub-base drainage layers have hollow space for storing the water, as well as the load-bearing capacity and stability for use as a carpark. The water is held until it is eventually absorbed into the soil below. You can find the technical specifications of the drainage layers on the Aquabase website.

Water Purification Lab at the Hogekamp Square

At the Hogekamp Square, a transparent laboratory for water purification will be realised. This lab will be used by researchers from the Faculty of Science and Technology who are systems for researching water purification by using membranes. They will use the lab to test using various membrane techniques in practice.

The Hogekamp Square is a suitable place for a water purification lab due to the collection of rainwater from the Hogekamp, the High Tech Factory, the parking area and the Hogekamp Square, which is then transported to the adjacent Vrijhof pond. A cleaning helophyte filter has been installed in this pond. This filter purifies the rainwater, after which the water is pumped into the clean water cellar underneath the Hogekamp, which can store approximately 1000 m3 of water.

There are rainwater and waste water sewerage systems beneath the Hogekamp Square. Linking the lab to this system will enable research into the purification of various water flows. This will contribute substantially to the quality and the impact of membrane research.

After purification, the water is of almost the same quality as drinking water and it is suitable for watering the sports fields on campus during the summer.

The purification technique that is used is a sustainable membrane purification system that has been developed by the university.


Gardens with high levels of biodiversity

All kinds of flowers from bulbs and seeds are planned for many different locations around the UT campus. All the flowers have a different flowering period, ensuring lovely changes of bloom and colour combinations through early May. These flowers were not just chosen as ornamentation to the UT campus, but primarily to increase existing biodiversity. For that reason, bulbs were chosen for specific areas of the UT grounds to increase biodiversity in those places.

Attracting special bees

In early spring there is little in our current natural space that provides nectar and pollen. The flowers will therefore also produce a lot of nectar and pollen, making them nutrient rich for bees and other insects. That's the reason a special bee mix – including crocuses, chionodoxa, scilla, muscari and certain tulips – has been planned for a number of locations around the UT campus. In the area around oak trees we will be planting snowdrops and giant snowdrops, winter aconite, woodland crocus, scilla, woodland tulip and wild daffodil because these flowers attract the natural predators of the oak processionary caterpillar, such as wasps, green lacewings and tachinid flies.

Want to find out more?

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