UM sets aside almost 30 million to make buildings more sustainable

The renovated Tapijn building is already energy neutral, but other buildings in the inner city still have a long way to go.

UM sets aside almost 30 million to make buildings more sustainable

This investment should enable us to meet our sustainability objectives for 2030

05-04-2023 · News

MAASTRICHT. Until 2030, Maastricht University is going to invest 27.7 million euro in making its buildings more sustainable. In this way, the institute expects to have met its energy objectives for that year. Especially the monumental buildings in the city centre will be taken in hand.

Sixteen million euro had already been reserved in order to make the university buildings more energy-conserving in the coming years. With an extra investment of more than 11 million, to which the University Council agreed last week, UM thinks it can meet its aim for 2030: contributing to the national objectives of a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 55 per cent compared to 1990. In addition, it should also lead to lower energy costs, so that the investments can be earned back in time.

In the city centre, the money will be used for measures such as insulating facades, roofs and floors, as well as installing LED lighting. “These are measures that, without large-scale renovations, directly contribute towards a reduction in the use of gas and increase comfort,” says Nick Bos, member of the Executive Board. The recommendations were taken from a report by an external company that looked closely at three buildings in the city centre – Bouillonstraat 1-3 (Law), Tongersestraat 53 (SBE) and Grote Gracht (FASoS). Because these are listed buildings, certain measures, such as installing double glazing or solar panels, are not (always) permissible. UM has also adopted the proposals for these buildings as a guideline for other buildings in the city centre.

The report states that these proposed adaptations should in 2030 lead to a natural gas reduction of 34 per cent compared to 2019 (UM has no data from 1990). In addition, UM is also looking into sustainability measures for the buildings in Randwyck and installing solar panels on flat roofs of all university buildings as well as – where technically possible – the installation of heat pumps. Together with the use of more green electricity (and reducing its use) this should be sufficient to exceed the objectives for carbon dioxide reduction in 2030.

To meet the objectives for 2050 (zero use of natural gas), large-scale renovations will be necessary, the external report states. Why is that not being dealt with immediately? “For the short term, we have opted for a series of measures that are feasible and affordable,” says Bos. To meet the objectives after 2030, UM is dependent on financial support and legislation for listed buildings from authorities such as the municipality and central government, he explains. “The talks and explorations started many years ago, but will now have to be intensified.”

Photo: Yuri Meesen

Tags: sustainability,energy,gas,electricity,climate goals,buildings,insulation,climate change,energy crisis

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