Innovations from Twente for climate neutral childcare centers

SoundEnergy and Straw Blocks System invited to join innovation partnership.

Innovations from Twente for climate neutral childcare centers

Novel-T – in collaboration with the local council, school boards, childcare centre Hof van Twente and CNB (Climate Neutral Building) – organised an afternoon where eleven companies presented their innovations to users, clients and potential collaboration partners. As a result, SoundEnergy and Straw Blocks System have been invited to join the innovation partnership for the realisation of two new child centres that could possibly become the launching customer for these two regional innovations.

3 November 2017

The winners

SoundEnergy from Enschede developed a special technique for cooling buildings using sound waves, without electricity. The cooling installation is powered by hot water generated using rooftop solar panels. This system creates average energy cost-savings of 30 to 50 percent for consumers at large complexes.

Straw Block Systems from Gelselaar developed a machine that produces lego blocks from compressed straw. The blocks are utilised in prefab elements for facades, floors, roofs and interior walls. This grain by-product is converted into a durable building material with excellent insulation properties, which means two important fundamental needs are met: food and comfortable accommodation.

The jury

The jury consisted of Pieter van Zwanenburg (councillor, Hof van Twente), Maurice Beijk (sustainable construction expert, Unipro) and Rogier de Haan (business developer, Novel-T). For the assessment of the innovations, the jury considered the contribution to the climate neutral remit: the extent of innovation and the potential for further scale-up. The quality and distinctive nature of the innovations meant that the choice for the most promising innovation for the child centre was a difficult one.

In the end, SoundEnergy was selected by the jury as most promising for application in child centres. Straw Blocks System and Solar Energy Booster came second and third respectively. The jury praised the innovative character of SoundEnergy, which was very much in line with the core values of the child centres: smart, simple and science. Herbert Berkhout from SoundEnergy indicated that it would be his dream to achieve the first use of his innovation in Twente, despite international interest in this concept, and that these two newbuild child centres would be a unique opportunity.

Public choice award

In addition to the jury, there was also a public choice award. Users of the future child centres and participants from the three selected consortiums (construction firm, installation company and architect) selected Straw Blocks System as their favourite. Their win was one point ahead of SoundEnergy and Jeans on the Wall, who shared the second place. In relation to the lego system, an appeal went out for sowing wheat in Markelo and Delden, and to make straw blocks from the crop by-products for use in the child centres.

Other participants

The other innovation pitches were by Advanced Climate System, Solar Energy Booster, Jeans on the Wall, Vison4Energy, Klimaatgroep Holland, Schöck, Stoeli, Da Maestro and Wall of All.


The research and development phase of the innovation partnership will start early next year, with users and the local council working out the integrated construction concept together with a construction team. SoundEnergy and Straw Blocks System have been invited to participate in this phase to establish whether or in what way their innovations can realistically be utilised within an integrated construction concept that should result in a climate-neutral child centre. Other pitched innovations could possibly also share in this, as there was a very high level of enthusiasm about the diversity and the quality of the innovations.


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