‘More than just a sustainable building’ at the UG
The international knowledge centre for climate adaptation will be based in Rotterdam and Groningen. The two cities won the bid to accommodate the UN Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA) with the most convincing offer. The location of the cities, the knowledge they have of the consequences of climate change and the innovative buildings were the crucial items in their favour in the eyes of the selection committee. In Groningen, the GCECA will have space in the most sustainable educational building in the Netherlands, the
Energy Academy Europe
(EAE) of the University of Groningen (UG). According to the Secretary of State, Groningen, with the UG and other educational institutions and businesses already active in the climate field, offers the perfect breeding ground for the climate centre.
Secretary of State Dijksma (Infrastructure and the Environment) announced in February 2017 that the knowledge centre, which is being founded in collaboration with the United Nations and Japan, would be located in the Netherlands. Dijksma: ‘This climate centre allows the Netherlands to show that it has the knowledge and skills to hand to tackle the consequences of climate change. And it is great news for Rotterdam and Groningen as such an institute will garner international renown. Global warming is going to hit more and more people where it hurts, and our initiative with this global climate centre will help countries and organizations looking for tangible solutions to counteract climate change.’
The evaluation committee tasked with choosing from the seven candidates comprised representatives from UN Environment, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and consultancy agency Acclimatise. A working group has been busy setting up the centre since February. By 2018, the GCECA will have grown to about 20 staff members. The centre is intended to link together a global network of partners, including international knowledge institutes, businesses, interest groups, local and national governments and the financial sector. Their joint aim is to support parties in implementing more effective climate adaptations in practice. By combining knowledge of projects in the field of infrastructure and agriculture, for example, new roads, buildings and farmland in vulnerable countries the world over will soon become more resilient to climate change.
Energy Academy Europe (EAE)
The ambitious Energy Academy Europe building at the UG is housing a new top institute where business, education and science work jointly on research and innovation in the field of energy. In order to realize its extremely sustainable energy goals, the building has been specially fitted with a large roof of solar panels, a ‘solar chimney’ and a natural ventilation system. The building on the Zernike Campus in Groningen measures about 15,000 m2, has been awarded the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ qualification and was completed in October 2016.
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