Old architecture, new tech: driving innovation and sustainability in Middelburg’s historic centre (NL)


Old buildings and new technologies

Innovative sustainability is becoming a reality in the heart of Middelburg’s historic centre. With the help of the European subsidy project Solarise, the Q-roof system is being fitted on the roof of a historic building.


Solar energy and historic buildings: hit or miss?

Boosting sustainability in historical (and monumental) buildings is quite the challenge. Regulations in place to preserve their historical character can sometimes hinder technological sustainability solutions. This pilot project combines two of Middelburg’s key focusses: preserving its historical character, while at the same time investing firmly in a sustainable future.

When determining the feasibility of projects in historic hubs such as Middelburg, it is vital to identify any difficulties that might arise during the preparation stage. To this end, the municipality will implement multiple sustainability initiatives in the near future.


Solarise: a European financial incentive

The Solarise project is part of the European subsidy scheme Interreg 2 Seas. Solarise stimulates the introduction of solar energy in historic and public buildings and low-income households, through so-called “living labs”: new technology is applied, and problems and solutions will be tracked during the preparation and implementation phase.

The mission of Solarise is also to find out how to minimize the strain on the electricity grid of solar energy, which is increasingly used, especially with solar panels. This includes research, for example, on the storage of (solar) energy.

Thanks to the efforts and help of students in Middelburg, the various projects underway are evolving into a “city living lab”. Training programmes around monitoring and evaluation are in place. All results are shared with residents, to enable them to leverage these in the future.


More information (in Dutch) can be found here