Connecting SMEs for a green economy

Local SME association plans 'house of the future'

The Green Circle of Twente
Erwin Hofman's picture

A group of SMEs in the Twente region in the eastern Netherlands plans to develop the 'Dream House': the sustainable house of the future. The house, using innovative concepts with regard to for example energy and waste, should set an example for all houses in the region.

A group of motivated, sustainable entrepreneurs in the Twente region have gathered and established the ‘Green Circle of Twente’. The members of the Green Circle endorse their common interest in a sustainable future, and therefore they are focussing on a sustainable living concept: the Dreamhouse (in Dutch ‘Woondroom’).

Within two years, somewhere in the Twente region the Dreamhouse will be built. The experiences of the people living in the house will be monitored and analysed. In this way, the Green Circle aims to be an accelerator of sustainability in the region.

The Dreamhouse (‘the house of tomorrow’) should provide all sorts of organisations, such as water boards, drinking water companies, network operators, with insights into the possibilities for sustainability in their region. After the Dreamhouse has been built and analysed, also existing houses can be renovated, in order to transform the entire region.


The Dreamhouse is to be built in an urban area. The principle of the house is to optimally utilise the local environment, such as surrounding trees, water, soil, and the position relative to the sun. The design should provide optimal natural insulation. All materials to be used will be 100% recyclable, and preferably locally available.

Waste as resource

The ‘house of the future’ won’t lead to any waste flows that cannot be recycled. Residential and garden waste will be separated and reused as new raw materials. Also wastewater is used again, and self-purifying sanitation systems limit the use of tap water.

Zero energy

The Dreamhouse concept means there are no housing costs: the house produces more energy than it uses. The roof will be partly covered with solar panels, and partly designed as ‘green roof’. The green roof will partly consist of CO2 retentive vegetation, and partly of crops for consumption.

The Green Circle

The Green Circle of Twente is a grouping of seven small and medium-sized entreprises in the Twente region in the eastern Netherlands. The Green Circle includes Geofox-Lexmond environmental consultancy, Gebr. van der Geest painting and property maintenance, Twente Milieu household waste collection, Twee “R” Recycling Groep debris recycling, Raedthuys Groep wind and solar energy, Cogas energy network operator and Koelplan airconditioning and heat pumps.


Emily Benson's picture
Submitted by Emily Benson on Wed, 2014-06-18 12:15

Interesting piece! There was a bigger version of this here in the UK from a few years ago...