Circular school design and bio-based materials for a healthy learning environment

Hundreds of schools will be built in the Netherlands in the coming years, as evidenced by the integrated housing plans (IHPs) already published. There are many opportunities to keep these educational buildings of high quality and healthy as well as contribute to CO2 reduction and a healthy environment through circular and bio-based design and construction.

By using biophile materials and, as far as possible, integrating plants into the building, teachers and students experience a more comfortable environment and by integrating installations in the design, a smart and flexible building is created that meets the user’s needs. All of these efforts can also be linked to relevant SDGs to demonstrate the coherence of social issues.

In this seminar, you will learn more about the possibilities of realizing fresh and healthy educational buildings through a circular approach, linked to social challenges such as climate and health. Various examples of materials and design types are reviewed. There is also ample opportunity to discuss these topics with each other during a Q&A session.

Practical information

Date: Tuesday, June 21st
Location: Meshallen, Wijchen
Free access
Time: 11:00 – 16:00
Target group: School boards, municipalities, partners Acquisitions


11:00 Guided tour of the Eromesmarko inspiration campus (optional)
12:00 Walk-in with breakfast
13:00 Intro by chairman Rob van der Westen, housing policy adviser at SPO Utrecht
13:10 The possibilities of wooden construction for school construction – by Evert Laarman, WoodTeq
13:30 Short video about the circular building system ‘Just in Case’
13:40 Bio-based and biophile teaching buildings – by Daan Bruggink, ORGA architect
14:00 Energy neutral and low installation design – ventilation through adequate building physics by Bart Advokaat, Merosch
14:20 Break
14:40 The Living School Building for Healthy and Sustainable Education – A Green Interpretation of the SDGs by Kim van der Leest, Green Concept Developer and Biologist on behalf of VHG
15:00 Aeres Højskole Almere – sustainability in the broadest sense of the word – by Gert Jan Samsom, architect, partner BDG Architecten
15:20 Q&A session: talk to the speakers
15:45 Closing President Rob van der Westen
15:50 A drink

Guided tour of Eromesmarko

Eromesmarko is an educational designer and initiator and is part of De Meshallen; the platform (physical and virtual), where education, government and entrepreneurs meet and inspire each other. Based on our brand values ​​- involved in education, sustainable choices and 100 percent together – we help education with change and innovation. Our Inspiration Campus in Wijchen is an experience in itself. All interior design components imaginable in a teaching building can be found here. Think, for example, of sustainable interior design solutions such as furniture, cabinets, analog and digital communication tools, mobile concentration rooms, innovative lighting solutions, floors, etc.

Explanatory meetings

The possibilities of wooden construction for school construction
Speaker: Evert Laarman

Wood is currently the focus of attention. Deservedly! But how do we use the wood in modern construction and in such a way that it meets the requirements of the times? Evert Laarman takes you on a tour of the possibilities of wood construction. Wood is a product that offers many possibilities and possibilities, especially in school construction, where a warm and pleasant experience of the environment is an important object experience in reality, especially because it is used not only for buildings, but also for walls, floors and roofs. and various types of finishes. Sustainability and circularity are crucial to us. Wood is the basis for this to come into its own

Bio-based and biophile teaching buildings
Speaker: Daan Bruggink

Of course, we are all still 99% coded. The more nature in and around our buildings, the better for our well-being, concentration and production. Lots of light, air and greenery suits us. Daan Bruggink is an architect and founder of ORGA Architect. ORGA is an innovative architectural firm and a forerunner in bio-based and biophile architecture. His projects are all examples of buildings where nature is maximally integrated. Bruggink tells how a more natural and biophile architecture makes our schools healthier and shows it based on the primary school De Verwondering in Almere. In 2021, it won the Golden Seed for the most sustainable project in the Netherlands.

Energy neutral and low installation design
Speaker: Bart Advokaat, Merosch

In order to achieve a completely circular technical installation school design, much remains to be changed in our sector and in our way of thinking in a design process. Two topics are central to this session: How can we realize an installation-poor design and then set up the required installations as circularly as possible. This is possible by realizing an integrated architectural and building physical design within an integrated design team. Based on some examples of new school buildings, this session will discuss where the gain can be reaped, for example, dynamic daylight calculations in relation to comfort in the summer. Using examples of circular technical installation applications in school buildings, it is also explained how our way of thinking in a design process must also be changed in order to achieve truly circular and future-proof school buildings.

The Living School Building for Healthy and Sustainable Education
Speaker: Kim van der Leest

In a journey through inspiring practical examples, you will be taken in integrated green solutions that are good for people, climate, nature and the economy. In addition to input for the design of the learning environment, you will also gain insight into the associated available online teaching material, which can be used to achieve a green and healthy level of ambition in construction and renovation and the involvement of pupils and students.

Aeres Højskole Almere sustainability in the broadest sense of the word
Speaker: Gert Jan Samsom

The environment is of great importance for being able to think well and develop optimally. For BDG Architecten, a sustainable educational environment therefore starts with the basics: the well-being and health of students and staff. In this session, architect partner Gert Jan Samsom takes you through the integrated approach to Aeres Højskole Almeres new construction. An approach that, in creative collaboration with design partners and students and teachers, has resulted in – literally and figuratively – the greenest university of applied science in the Netherlands. A sustainable building that reflects the education’s identity from entrance to the roof and as a living laboratory itself is also part of the curriculum: students in Almere research urban food supply and healthy lifestyle in the green city and in the way green in school contributes to learning achievement . The design has recently been awarded the Circular Awards and is also the first higher education building to qualify for the Platinum Well Certificate.

Explanation roadmap

The theme of sustainable and healthy schools is explored in depth by Stedebouw & Architectuur and Duurzaam Gebouwd in various events. These events are primarily aimed at the parties now in charge, namely school boards and municipalities, but it is also the turn of architects, engineers, builders and installers to come up with the right innovations and solutions, as well as the suppliers and consultants. In 2022 topics such as innovation, collaboration and circularity in educational real estate will be addressed in a number of webinars, seminars, an architectural exchange and evenarrow, Sustainable & Healthy Schools Congress 2022 on November 9th.

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