Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Exchange to the Netherlands 2013
07.01.2013 - 25.01.2013
After taking a couple days to reflect on what it meant to be involved in the Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Exchange with Hanze University of Applied Sciences, it became apparent what an experience we had. Over the course of three weeks, Canadian students were exposed to Dutch culture, educational practices, and the way energy conservation is tackled on an industrial level.
Through a series of lectures and field trips, we were able to witness how a culture copes with high utility rates, something of particular interest to myself. Maximizing mechanical systems and using combined heat and power systems seems to be on the fore-front in energy conservation. As I am enrolled in the Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology program, it was interesting to obtain a different perspective on how building science is integrated with the use of renewables (Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal predominantly), and building mechanical systems. Being grouped with second year mechanical engineers placed us all on a mutual level of understanding, and created a platform for discussion and brain-storming.
However, while the educational bit is arguably the most important aspect of the exchange that we are supposed to take away from it all, I cannot help mention the excellent hospitality we all experienced. Despite the fact that we were there during the Dutch student’s exam period (no easy feat on their part), many students went out of their way to show us the city of Groningen, take us on extracurricular activities, and expose us to local Dutch culture that we otherwise may have missed.
I am very thankful that I was given the opportunity to participate in this exchange, and am very excited for the Halifax, Canada portion of the program in May. I hope to be able to return the favour and illustrate how energy conservation is viewed from a Canadian perspective, and show the Dutch students what it means to be an East Coaster.
NSCC Student, Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology
Annapolis Valley Campus