Amounting to a maximum of 2.7 million euros and made available as a contribution towards making the campus more sustainable, Erasmus University Rotterdam will receive this European funding over the next three years.

Run by the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) is funded through the European Commission’s Intelligent Energy – Europe programme. The funding is made available to enable the implementation of large sustainability and energy efficiency projects. Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is the first European university to receive this funding.

As Jan-Cees Jol, EUR’s sustainability programme manager, explained: “ELENA funding is that vital extra push that makes it possible to secure the organisational capacity and technical know-how required to actually implement sustainability plans.”

Most of the funding for the Tinbergen building

The university expects to invest in excess of 60 million euros to make the campus more sustainable. The ELENA funding is therefore only a part of this total. Several buildings, including Tinbergen, will be renovated. In the words of Jol: “Tinbergen is a particular challenge because the building is a municipal monument. We want the building to have a BREEAM rating of four on a scale of one to five – ‘Excellent’, in other words – once the renovation work is complete. To achieve this aim, a geothermal heating and cooling system will have to be installed so that the two large cooling machines on the roof are no longer necessary. It’s just one example of how we intend to reduce energy consumption. Most of the funding will be spent on the Tinbergen building, because it’s our flagship project.”

Renovation of other buildings

What is left of the funding will be used for other buildings. According to Jol: “The Mandeville and Van der Goot buildings will also be upgraded and we’ll look at what needs to be done regarding the sports building. The work carried out will in part be determined by whether or not a new, climate-neutral building is given the go-ahead.”