Sustainability by co-operation

Everyone takes part: you build a sustainable municipality together! Individual citizens, companies, social organizations, educational and government institutions are invited to make an active contribution to the integral sustainability process. Careful communication and dialogue, being open to ideas, learning from each other and room for initiatives are preconditions.

Economical with stocks: prevent finite stocks from running out or deteriorating in quality. It concerns raw materials and energy, but also soil, water and air, space and tranquility and natural, scenic and cultural-historical values. Prevention, small cycles, reuse, application of renewable and clean materials / sources and careful use of space are mendatory.

Cherish nature, greenery and landscape: conservation, management and development of biodiversity, the amenity value and accessibility of nature, greenery and landscape as carriers of identity, quality and vital and resilient living systems.

Beautiful, clean and safe: it is the basis for a sustainable municipality in terms of space, economy, environment, social and public space management. It stimulates the establishment of residents and companies and it attracts professionals, students and tourists to Noord Brabant.

Do locally what is possible: strive for a strong local economy, where employment, consumption and production of knowledge, services and goods are organized responsibly on a local scale as much as possible, with optimal use of the area’s own clean resources and spatial possibilities in balance with the landscape environment and natural processes.

Design with an eye on future generations: not only focus the spatial design on the quality of life “now”, but also on the changing user requirements “later”. Flexibility, adaptability and resilience are key concepts.

Being open to innovation: innovation in thinking and acting is the flywheel of sustainable development. New knowledge and initiatives of companies and residents that contribute to sustainability must be put to good use.




You are about to develop your own neighborhood together with our local residents. You are finally going to make your dream come true. Experience the freedom to design and of course build and maintain your own dream home and work environment. That is the vision behind the new hamlet of Aya.

Sustainability Tips

Aya eco village & nature center offers many opportunities. But together with your local residents you also have to make many choices. How can you design your home and what will your living environment and the facilities look like? This information is intended to give you inspiration about the possibilities to design your home and your neighborhood. We will also discuss the lifestyle that suits the neighborhood and you will learn more about what you can expect from the municipality.

The neighborhood focuses on active residents who together dare to take on the challenge to design a new neighborhood. In addition to your own home, it also concerns the construction of infrastructure and communal facilities. Being helpful on the basis of ‘Us knows us’ plays a central role in the neighborhood. This is expressed in conviviality, safety, maintaining the living environment together and caring for each other. But the ‘us knows us’ is also reflected in consciously dealing with nature, the environment and the landscape.

Municipality as director and source of information
The municipality acts as area director and keeps the rules of the game * up to date. On the other hand, the municipality has a very limited role in the design of the hamlet. This gives you and your local residents the freedom to design the construction of roads, public lighting, public greenery and the disposal of waste water as you see fit. This also applies to communal facilities such as a meeting space, food forest and playground. The municipality is installing a connection for drinking water and electricity in the vicinity of Aya. A gas connection is not installed. The municipality is also responsible for collecting household waste.

Shared facilities
Everyone needs privacy and their own facilities, but it goes without saying that doing business together also offers many advantages. Shared facilities: a large room for meetings, guest room (s), childcare, office units, facilities for care, hairdresser, physiotherapy, but also a bicycle shed, charging points for electric car or bicycle, playground or a communal tool shed, etc. to think carefully about how you arrange the management and maintenance of the communal facilities together with your neighbors. For example, it can be useful to set up an Owners’ Association or to arrange matters in a cooperative context.

New energy
You can realize a common sustainable energy supply with your local residents. A number of interesting options at a glance:
– Realize a heat pump system (open system in groundwater). Using soil energy, you can comfortably heat and cool homes. This is an interesting system for at least 50 homes.

– A bio-fermentation installation can also provide the neighborhood with energy. This can be done, for example, by the fermentation of cuttings, prunings, chippings and other organic waste.

– One or more small wind turbines or solar panel fields on the edge of the hamlet, for example, can also be an important form of providing the hamlet with electricity. It goes without saying that you can also combine the energy facilities with each other or combine them with your own form of energy generation.

A neighborhood in green
Green is iconic and important for health. Greenery also contributes to the quality of life in the neighborhood. Many green structures in the form of hedgerows are already present in the neighborhood. You can use the hedgerows as a natural barrier. Expansion is of course also possible. Then choose species that naturally belong in the environment. These plants are stronger and therefore less susceptible to diseases and pests. They also provide a natural habitat for many small animals and birds.

A self-sufficient neighborhood
Self-sufficient living is making a real comeback. Growing your own vegetables, fruit and herbs is not only fun, but also healthy and good for the environment. A shared garden is a nice place to meet, work together and relax. In addition, it can also be a place to harvest together! With a joint fruit or vegetable garden you always have fresh vegetables at hand. Maybe you can start a cooking and dining club with the neighbors right away?

Sustainably on the way
The choice of the type of pavement depends on what the road or path is used for:

– Concrete roads are durable and low maintenance and very suitable when there is a heavy load. The disadvantage of concrete is that it does not let rainwater through. Clinkers are a good alternative, but require more maintenance.

– For extensively used roadways and parking areas, paving materials such as porous clinkers, clinkers with open joints, grass concrete bricks, gravel and shells can be used. You can also apply sand, wood chips and debris (clean!).

– For bicycle paths it is possible to use concrete (elements) or shells.

The neighborhood well lit
Good lighting of the neighborhood is important to prevent unsafe situations. But it is also advisable to leave the area dark to unnecessarily disturb flora and fauna. When purchasing street lighting, it is wise to look at the amount of light that is needed at a particular time. The energy efficiency of the lighting is also important. Currently there is street lighting on the market with sensor technology. When the street is not busy, the lights are dimmed. If a pedestrian, cyclist or car comes into the street, the area is brightly lit. It is recommended to opt for energy-efficient LED lighting. This makes a big difference in energy costs. Habitat-friendly green LED lighting is also possible. This green version of LED has a less disruptive effect on flora and fauna.


Energy neutral
Consider making your home energy neutral. An energy-neutral home is constructed in such a way that little energy is needed. And the energy that is needed is generated by the house itself! Below you will find more information to make your home energy neutral.

The sun as an energy source
You will make the most energy savings by orienting your home on the plot in such a way that you can make optimal use of the sun. A house with a lot of glass on the south is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than a house with glass on the east and west. Save on your lighting costs by using skylights and solar tubes. You can prevent an air conditioner by using the shade of, for example, a spacious roof overhang, good sun protection or by espaliers. You can also cool your home by using a sedum or grass roof. Such a roof ensures that a home is kept cool. With a shadow-free roof on the south, you will now or soon benefit from free sustainable energy from solar panels and solar boilers. A good orientation therefore saves a lot in the monthly costs and it costs you almost nothing!

Insulate and ventilate
The shell of the house (floors, walls, roofs) lasts a lifetime. Don’t save on that. So make sure you have a well-insulated shell and a good seal and only then choose solar panels and extra-efficient installations. Do not forget to choose good insulating glass with 2 or 3 layer HR ++ glass for the windows. Insulation must always be accompanied by good ventilation. The market offers many systems for good, healthy and energy-efficient ventilation. Be well informed about this.
– Use natural insulation materials such as hemp and wood fibers, sheep wool, cellulose, loam and straw, etc. These materials have the advantage that they often store more heat and release it slowly. These materials also have better moisture regulation and are produced in an environmentally friendly manner.
– Use natural building materials that contribute to a healthy indoor climate, require little maintenance, last a long time and are easily reusable. When purchasing wood, pay attention to the FSC quality mark, for example, and the DUBOkeur for building materials. If possible, use materials that come from the immediate vicinity.

Flexibel en levensloopbestendig bouwen
Iedere levensfase stelt andere eisen aan een woning. Het is verstandig je huis zo te maken dat het eenvoudig is aan te passen aan veranderende wensen. Hierbij valt te denken aan de toegankelijkheid voor minder validen of de mogelijkheid voor een kantoor aan huis. Dat is niet alleen belangrijk voor mogelijke veranderingen in je eigen leven, maar ook om je huis uiteindelijk beter te kunnen verkopen. 

A sustainable system for heating and cooling your home is the combination of a heat pump with a closed ground source. With the installation, heat or cold is extracted from the ground and released into the home through a ground heating system. The advantage is that you do not use radiators and can therefore arrange the house flexibly. Note: the system cannot be used in the entire hamlet in connection with a groundwater protection area.
Another way to heat your home sustainably is with the wood pellet stove. Wood pellets are small compressed sticks of sawdust. In principle, a wood pallet stove can fully meet your heating needs for both space and tap water heating. A combination with a solar water heater or central heating boiler is also possible.

Lighting and appliances
Nearly 40 percent of your energy bill is spent on electricity. With efficient appliances and lamps you kill two birds with one stone: you save money and it is better for the environment. Therefore choose devices with an efficient energy label and for example LED lighting or energy saving lamps.

Water and wastewater
There are many options for limiting your water use indoors. Well-known examples are the flush interrupter in the toilet, a water-saving shower head and the thermostat tap. Less common, but certainly interesting, is the use of rainwater to flush the toilet, the use of water-free urinals or even a compost toilet. A rain barrel or column in the garden can also save a lot of water. You can collect the excess rainwater with the help of rain crates or infiltration boxes. They ensure that rainwater can be slowly absorbed by the soil. For the purification of the waste water from your home, you can opt for an individual treatment of the waste water (IBA) such as a septic tank.

Gardening naturally
Natural gardening fits in well with the vision of the neighborhood. Natural gardening means gardening in such a way that nature can develop optimally in the garden. In natural gardening, flowers and plants are in the right place and indigenous species are used as much as possible. Environmentally friendly materials are also chosen. Such a garden is a paradise for small animals, insects and birds and is less vulnerable to pests. Toxic pesticides against weeds are therefore not necessary.