Invitation: futureproof in Holland


How is sustainability implemented on the other side of the border? How do the Dutch ensure that their existing heritage stands the test of time? What are the special areas of attention and potential pitfalls? On september 11th, ESCOLIMBURG2020 has the pleasure of taking you on a visit to the renovated and revitalised social housing estate 'De Spoorkolonie' (The Railway Colony) located in Sittard and the historic BACO building in Roermond, a landmark monument that has been transformed from a factory to an office building. You will receive specialised information onsite from Harold Janssen (SATIJNplus).

De Spoorkolonie in Sittard consists of 56 social rental homes, built in the 1920s as a garden village for railway personnel. Due to the distinctive appearance of the houses and the designation of the estate as a conservation area, the existing façades and urban development ensemble have been retained. Behind the original façades, the houses have been extended to make them deeper. At the same time, a common green area has been created. This meticulous revitalisation has recently been completed by the housing corporation Zo Wonen. With this, the estate has been conserved for the future. By partnering with residents and involved parties, this distinctive neighbourhood has been preserved. Sixteen of the original residents have now returned to their familiar surroundings.

The old BACO building on Willem II Singel in Roermond is a striking and iconic building in the town centre of Roermond. This national monument, dating from 1905, which has successively housed a flour mill, bicycle factory, cigar factory and finally, Berden furniture, is now the new headquarters of the housing corporation Wonen Limburg, housing approximately 170 workplaces. This was a deliberate choice on the part of Wonen Limburg, with the aim of conserving a historic building for the city of Roermond and renovating this in a sustainable manner. In this way, the housing corporation has fulfilled its social responsibility by renovating an existing building instead of encouraging vacancy in the shrinking world of real estate. The building has been encased within a glass shell (box-in-box) to retain the original character of the building. By regulating the climate in the cavity, less energy is required for heating the office or cooling it in the summer.


8.00 a.m.    Departure by bus from Heusden-Zolder

8.45 a.m.    Arrival + Welcome at SATIJNplus (coffee) 

9.00 a.m.    Explanation by Harold Jansen about De Spoorkolonie at Sittard

9.30 a.m.    Departure to the De Spoorkolonie at Sittard

9.45 a.m.    Visit to the De Spoorkolonie at Sittard

10.30 a.m.  Departure to Roermond 

11.00 a.m.  Arrival at the BACO building; explanation + guided tour

12.30 p.m.  Departure from Roermond, lunch on the bus

1.00 p.m.  Arrival at SATIJNplus

1.45 p.m.  Arrival by bus to Heusden-Zolder

NOTE: You may also drive directly to SATIJNplus in Born and board the bus from there. We will expect you punctually at 8:45 a.m. at Kasteelhof 1, 6121 XK, Born in the Netherlands. If you wish to avail of this option, please make sure that you mention this when you register. 

Please REGISTER by sending an e-mail to, mentioning 'Excursion to the Netherlands'. Registration costs 15 euros, including the bus trip and sandwich lunch. A registration shall be confirmed only after you have transferred 15 euros to the bank account number BE44973069414345. 

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