Reaching new heightsBoundless ambition. Check. Distinctive concept. Check. Innovative partnership. Check. Forward-looking region. Check. Appropriate location. Check. Market interest. Check. Investors for follow-up. Check. All the necessary ingredients for a GO! Which is why on 21 December 2017 the partners wholeheartedly resolved to forge ahead with the further development of The Dutch Mountains, the hi-tech work and residential landscape that will enhance the Eindhoven region in 2020.
During the past eighteen months an innovative partnership involving tech companies, service providers, architects and developers has been developing the concept for The Dutch Mountains residential and work landscape. At the same time the viability of this concept was also examined. The results of this stage are positive. Multiple operators have expressed interest in establishing a presence in The Dutch Mountains. Meanwhile the Veldhoven municipality has earmarked the De Run 1000 terrain for the project. As a result, the partners have decided to invest in the further development of this exceptional complex.
Data- and experience-driven ecosystem
The project is groundbreaking in several ways. Beside hosting features including a large park, public facilities, short-stay facilities, a conference centre and commercial premises, the complex will also include all sorts of hi-tech innovations making it representative of what some are dubbing ‘the smartest region in the world’. The building will be optimally self-sufficient, featuring closed cycles for energy, water, waste and materials. One of the objectives is to use solid wood to construct the building because of the positive effect on CO2 deposition.
The Dutch Mountains is also distinctive because it is a total service system. Light, heating, food, furniture, installations and even the façades are provided as services within the project. This means it will be possible to replace software as well as hardware over the course of time. For example, the façade generates energy; if a smarter façade becomes available in the future that produces more energy than the current one, it will replace the old one which will be recycled or processed. Moreover, the complex is completely data-driven and experience-directed which adds to its upgradeability. Plus the environment can be constantly adjusted: spaces can be given a different function from one day to the next and sections of the building can adapt to changing market conditions.
It is particularly remarkable that from its inception the concept has been developed by tech companies and service providers who are normally only involved much further down the development chain. Together they are developing a new ‘white label’ service concept: an integral ‘ecosystem’ of services and technologies built around the user. This new service concept enables individual users to reside as pleasurably, comfortably and healthily as possible in the building – every user can regulate their own, personalized environment. In this sense The Dutch Mountains reduces the distance between users and service providers than any other platform. This requires a completely new operating and organizational model, the development of which is an integral part of the project (including the exploration of blockchain applications). For this reason the project was chosen as a finalist for the World Changing Ideas Awards organized by the globally trendsetting innovation platform Fast Company.
As part of the exploratory stage the initiators developed a technology survey covering over 100 technologies (dealing with items such as energy, materials, façade applications and smart mobility) which can be integrated in The Dutch Mountains. The majority of these were developed in the Brainport region. By applying these (and other) innovations in The Dutch Mountains, the complex will become a regional Hi-Tech Excellence Centre. The hi-tech experience will be enhanced by excellent hospitality amenities, conference facilities, exhibition spaces as well as living labs and displays telling the story of The Dutch Mountains, the Brainport region and the various hi-tech innovations.
Part of The Dutch Mountain’s objective is to drive the transformation of the De Run industrial park into a new kind of work landscape. To this end a vision for the development of De Run was formulated in 2017 together with (a.o.) ASML, the Maxima Medical Centre, Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM) and the Veldhoven municipality. Part of this vision is to improve accessibility and provide opportunities for smart mobility.
The Dutch Mountains was initiated by BLOC, Studio Marco Vermeulen and Urban XChange. Developing partners are Asito, Beveco, Dell-EMC, Heyday, Spie and Strukton. Arup and Off Road Innovations are the knowledge partners.