A Closer Look at Holland and Its Sustainability Initiatives

Passenger trains in The Netherlands are powered by wind energy, while the majority of the people walk or commute by way of bikes and electricity-powered vehicles. Yet Holland, as The Netherlands is also called, still doesn’t rank high as a green country. Mainly because about 92% of the country’s heating systems are fueled with energy derived from natural gas; sourced from the country’s abundant supply of fossil fuels.

Moreover, the Dutch government is currently more focused in making the country adopt the concept of a circular economy. The plan is that by 2050, Holland will have a sustainable water supply and sewage system.

The Dutch Government’s National Strategy in Conserving and Maintaining Sustainable Water Supply

The national strategy being adopted at city levels and in urban areas where there are great levels of water consumption, is to recycle water used by building occupants and households, to reduce water demand down to potable water supply only.

What federal policy makers want is for building administrators and home owners to collaborate with public utilities and housing developers to see to the installation of a closed loop water system. The system separates wastewater at source, which the same system will process for treatment and recycling locally. The treated wastewater will then be reused as fresh water supply for the building or house occupants.

The system is all part of a circular economy model, which is the exact opposite of a linear economy model in which the occupants merely take, use and produce wastes. In addition to minimizing water consumption, the closed loop water system of a circular economy also eliminates chemicals included as runoffs of wastewater treatments.

Maintaining a Circular Economy Comes with Greater Responsibility for Building Professionals

That being the case, Dutch building and housing laws governing plumbing and sanitation installations require strict compliance with Dutch standards. As a matter of fact, a plumbing company in the Netherlands must employ only knowledgeable and duly certified plumbers.

Providers of plumbing education must also offer courses that will enable seasoned plumbers to learn about modern plumbing and sewage systems in accordance with Dutch standards. That way, they can obtain the required certification that gives them an edge over other freelance professional plumbers. The Dutch government strictly enforces compliance with sanitation to ensure that the closed loop water system of its circular economy will work with utmost efficiency.

Although building companies in The Netherlands do not require special licensing requirements, it is necessary for professional contractors to put to work only employees certified to possess specific skills: e.g. plumbing, roofing, HVAC, gas plumbing, underfloor heating and the likes.