TU Delft Campus as a Living Lab

For sustainable innovations

The TU Delft Campus is working towards becoming carbon neutral, circular, and climate-adaptive by 2030, with a focus on liveability and biodiversity. During this transition, we recognise the need to embrace innovations that not only contribute to these campus goals but also have a meaningful impact on a sustainable society. By testing sustainable innovations on campus, we create the ‘Campus as a Living Lab’ and enable a test environment for scaling up innovations regarding carbon neutral, circularity and climate adaptation.

Innovation process

We have established the Campus Innovation Committee to support research, partially fund innovations and provide space for real-scale tests on our own campus. An innovation process has been set up to select the most impactful innovations, using so-called proposals. A TU Delft researcher leads the development of such a proposal and is encouraged to collaborate with third parties in its development. The innovation process is aimed at selecting innovations that have outgrown the field labs. such as The Green Village, and require the final step to societal scale-up. The Campus Real Estate & Facility Management department and Innovation & Impact Centre provide the location and support to test innovations for the first-time on a real-scale on our own campus to learn the necessary lessons for scaling-up. Therefore, the Campus Innovation Committee facilitates the step towards the jump, as shown in the visualization. 

Startup and commercial parties

Commercial participation is an important requirement for an innovation initiative. Therefore, we encourage third parties to be involved and to contribute in-kind and/or co-funding during the research phase of scaling up. After all, scaling up is done from a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Are you a start-up or commercial entity with a technical innovation requiring additional upscaling research or interested in joining a research project? Connect with our researchers through the Campus Innovation Team to investigate the collaboration potential.

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Current projects

Green Façades

The goal is to develop a portfolio of characteristics (numerically substantiated) of the various vertical green systems studied, so that users have a catalog of climate-adaptive solutions they can use in the development of residential areas, the design of buildings, or the transformation of existing structures. In total, four systems will be applied and studied, which consists of common green structures as well as bio-receptive greenery solutions.

Circular Arch Bridge

A new bridge has been constructed between Mekelpark and The Green Village using waste materials such as discarded toilet bowls, other ceramics, and residual concrete. The bridge features a modular design and can be easily disassembled, as no adhesive has been used to secure the elements. The uniquely designed structure is currently undergoing tests to assess its performance under various weather conditions and seasonal changes, and it is being closely monitored. 

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24/7 Energy Hub

The 24/7 Energy Hub project has established a complete system, incorporating all necessary components for an off-grid energy system. This includes an electrolyser, solar panels, hydrogen storage, a combustion engine, batteries, an energy management system and actual users. This full cycle must function flawlessly together to provide buildings with 24/7 green energy. The current prototype is being optimized and scaled up for the entire Green Village. In parallel, a feasibility and impact study is being conducted on the scale-up possibilities for the campus.

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The heat produced in the summer by our geothermal well is stored in the High Temperature – Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (HT-ATES), at approximately 200 meters depth, and is extracted again in winter. The heat from the aquifer is used to provide peak demand, instead of burning gas. The installation of the HT-ATES is part of an H-Europe project led by TU Delft and is significantly funded by the H-EU project, but not entirely. 

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Surface water aqua thermal energy

This project is about thermal energy from surface water, using heat exchangers in surface water and a heat pump system that can regulate heating and cooling at Firma van Buiten. Through this project, the research team wants to investigate the functionality and effectiveness of aqua thermal energy, as well as the effects on the surface water (temperature, aquatic ecology, algae and bacterial formation, ice formation, etc.). 

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Get in touch

We believe in the power of collaboration. Do you want to learn more about TU Delft Campus as a Living Lab? Get in contact with our Campus Innovation Team.

Campus Innovation Team