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Successfully Integrating Sustainability and

Smart Enterprise

When it comes to waste heat, you essentially have two options: you can let it go to waste, or you can put it to good use by recycling it, by using it as a heat source for other buildings, for example. Four organizations based in the Dutch town of Aalsmeer decided to pursue this latter option, and with the City of Aalsmeer as the driving force, they shaped their ideas into an ambitious project called the Aalsmeer Energy Hub.

Integral Child Center provides care and education under one roof
Global export company specializing in potted plants and potted-plant cuttings
Aalsmeer’s most popular swimming pool for over 40 years
The leading provider of colocation and connectivity services
The project

Smart Transfer of Hot and Cold Air:

Heat Exchanged for Coolness. The outcome: high energy savings for all parties involved! Four local players based in Aalsmeer joined forces for the Hornmeer project, working with the City of Aalsmeer for a total of four years to get the project off the ground. NorthC Datacenters supplies the waste heat from its Aalsmeer site to child center Triade, sports center De Waterlelie and Fertiplant, a company specializing in the export of potted plants. In exchange for this waste heat, NorthC is supplied with cool air to keep its data rooms at the right temperatures. This is a smart partnership with sustainable results, as the carbon reduction is equal to the carbon emissions generated by around 74 homes. The initiative also received support from other organizations. The project was funded by an Energy subsidy reserved for sectors and industries that are vital to the national economy, provided by the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.


The five parties teamed up to create the Aalsmeer Energy Hub over a 4-year period. We took a number of key steps, overcame various challenges, and celebrated our successes. You can read more about the project’s key milestones below.


Construction of Transfer Grid

In late February 2019, the Welvreugd/Hamer joint venture was contracted to install the pipes and pumps for the hot-and-cold transfer system. This was followed by the inevitable slew of permit applications, until the excavation work and directional drillings could finally get underway in May 2019. We had to work around two privately owned plots of land housing local businesses: Burgers Carrosserie (auto body repair shop) and Bakkerij van Muyden (bakery). The long-term lease for this land was issued in early May. At this point, the installations at the site of the partners involved in the hot-and-cold transfer project were being prepped for operation, the final step being a test that involved circulating the initial water produced through the system. Actual installation and commissioning at the De Waterlelie swimming pool and sports center and Triade school/day care center were scheduled for September, followed by the work performed at Fertiplant in October/November.
15 July 2019
2017 and 2018

Energy Plan and Challenges

Key components of the plan include the business base and a risk analysis. The energy plan estimates carbon savings of roughly 327 tons a year – the equivalent of 74 energy-neutral homes. This reduction can be further increased through the use of green energy. By definition, being a trailblazer involves exploring unchartered territory, and you’re likely to face any number of challenges in a project of this type, including various laws and regulations. In July 2017, the project received funding in the form of a DEI subsidy, the purpose of which is to recognize ideas which are progressive in terms of sustainability. The project partners hung in there throughout, strengthened by their perseverance and mutual trust. The tender process was launched in March 2018.
15 July 2019


These five partners teamed up to create the Aalsmeer Energy Hub.

Child center Triade

“We want to leave the world behind in decent shape for future generations, as well as acknowledging the importance of the educational aspect.”


Sports center De Waterlelie

“We decided to join this project because we’re consuming existing energy, which can therefore be put to good use.”



“Just like with our plants, we’re participating in this project because we want to make the world a little greener.”


City of Aalsmeer

“This project could only be possible through cooperation between the City and various businesses and NGOs.”


NorthC Datacenters

“We managed to find a shared sustainable goal together which I think can make us a role model for others”


Smart Cooperation
for Sustainable Results

View all parties involved