In 2009 Ad Vlems (as contact person of Ecovillage Brabant) received an email from the director of sustainable project De Kleine Aarde. He had seen our website and found us a enthousiast group of people he wanted to connect with De Kleine Aarde. He offered us a piece of land with which we were allowed to do what we wanted. We have built a circular building where forty companies have contributed, together with 300 volunteers!
One of the volunteers turned out to be building expert at TNO. He invited us for an interview and told us: “What you do might be crucial for the building sector. Because the future of building lies in building with organic material and the building sector is the slowest sector when it comes to picking up innovative materials. Asyou are a DIY project, you can hold on to your ambition. Because in the chain of a regular building project there is always one that says: Why don’t we just work with concrete? We are familiar with that.”
This means that progress is standing still and we continue to spray CO2 into the air and heat the earth.
Another volunteer turned out to be a building teacher at TU / Eindhoven. He asked us to play the client for 36 final year students. I was allowed to give a presentation about what we wanted in the flat area and they had to design an ecological residential tower with our vision and wishes in mind. My last comment was: ‘Preferably use as little steel and concrete as possible’. They were shocked because they had learned for three years to work with steel and concrete. Then 8 students and a teacher went to an ecovillage in Germany to follow a course in straw bale construction.
The six best ecological residential towers were on our website.
Approximately 20 architects have physically help built the building on the De Kleine Aarde, a few contractors and, above all, a lot of self-builders who afterwards started to build an ecological home themselves.
The project concluded with a virtual symposium on Sustainable Building and Collaboration. The keynote speaker was a 13-year-old girl who in 1992 made a very moving story on stage at the world conference in Rio.
The former Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment was very satisfied with the result. They had contributed € 120,000 to accelerate innovation in construction with this educational innovation project. The project was led by Ecodorp Brabant, the umbrella organization of ecovillage initiatives in Brabant.
A year ago the building had to be demolished because the temporary building permit was no longer valid. We were then able to harvest a lot of building materials from the building with the current ecovillagers. We can reuse these materials in our own circular homes!
And that is circular! Do you want to support us by investing? You can get 2% interest yearly.