March 2017 - People Work

The passionate architect

When we speak to Aron he just returned from the construction site of Space-S on Strijp-S in Eindhoven. "Wow! Every time I'm there, I come back full of energy. Now they were working on the vegetable garden in part 4, where a number of active residents came up with planters. I came there with the idea they would place 10 of them, but the entire roof is filled with planters! 50 cubic meter soil on the roof. Spectacular."

Aron and his team are constantly working with new energy. "Imagine, we have been sitting together with all the potential tenants of that huge complex for weeks in our office. That was fun, of course. Everyone inspired each other to come up with smarter floor plans, ways of living and so on. Till the middle of the night and then a quick clean up so that we could start fresh again in the office next day at 8 am. You would say that this exhausts you, but I mostly got a lot of energy from it."

Now we are talking about the energy transition. Perhaps very abstract, but Aron makes it very practical. "It seems people only realize how big the problem of global warming is, when they see refugees walking down the street as a result of climate change." We cannot ignore it. Within a very short period of time there won’t be any sea ice in the North Pole region, which has disastrous consequences for the climate. "Why do we still make homes with boilers or buildings using is ‘nearly’ zero energy?" Why would you recommend reusable if you already can reuse material. Time for action.

At the energy campus of Eneco in Utrecht, which Aron gives shape together with Rutger Büch (Cirkelstad), not only the inventors of new energy technologies come together, but there especially is the opportunity to test and develop the practical examples. "We are just going to do it in all different sorts of ways: from electric self-driving cars to homes that are more intelligent than zero energy houses". Not just calculate that building-specific energy is not required, but ensure that the residential area in the LivingLab is smart enough to function without fossil fuels and that it still is possible to open your windows. I find that incredibly exciting and we are meeting more and more people who want to join. That's inspiring!"