De Bloemenbeek: a green hotel for over a century

The Strikker family, from hotel De Bloemenbeek in De Lutte, have always been committed to sustainable entrepreneurship. For decades, and time and again, the “long term” has been considered. The family business has the Twente stewardship as their top priority. Contributing to a better world has become normal to Raymond Strikker, the owner, mainly thanks to the convictions of both himself and his predecessors. It comes naturally.

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In short

  • For hotel De Bloemenbeek, future-proof entrepreneurship comes naturally
  • This is done by having a local focus, installing solar panels and heat pumps, and various other sustainability projects within the hotel
Technical improvement

Since the estate hotel consists of several buildings from different ages, keeping the hotel up to date has become a continuous sustainability process. Now, for example, the first-generation thermopane of the outbuilding is being replaced with insulated glass. A part of the 100-year-old hotel wing is also being modified, and the insulation value is improved. However, it is not of these “small-scale” technical improvements that made De Bloemenbeek the greenest hotel in Twente, but the large-scale sustainability solutions it uses.

 

As an example, De Bloemenbeek is the first hotel in Europe to have a roof with ZEP solar roof tiles. Around 1300 ceramic tiles with incorporated solar cells have been placed on a wing of approximately 130 square meters. These tiles generate 11,500 kilowatt-hours of energy annually. In addition to the roof tiles, De Bloemenbeek has recently invested in better insulation, and a climate plan was drawn up with air conditioning and heating, using the latest Daikin heat pump technology. Because of all this, the hotel needs almost no gas at all. Back in 2000, the family already knew what they were working towards when the hotel chefs started cooking on induction cooktops. It made the hotel a pioneer in the Netherlands.

New energy sources

This year, another special project will most likely be realised on the estate. Raymond Strikker is creating a solar field on the former tennis court. It will be aesthetically pleasing since the hotel guests go there to enjoy the beautiful estate, but it will be result-oriented above-all. The generated solar energy must cover around 40-50% of the hotel’s energy needs. For the future, Raymond hopes that De Bloemenbeek and nearby farmers can generate energy together. The goal is becoming energy neutral.

 

Raymond, who is very self-aware about sustainability, assures that guests are still real guests at the hotel. They are encouraged to help save energy, but they are not forced to do so. Raymond would rather take the guests to companies in the area so he can introduce them to innovation and sustainable solutions in Twente. Think of visits to estate farm De Witte Raaf or meat farm Erve Elferman. In collaboration with these companies, even the seeding plan for the new season is discussed together.

From soil to the plate

This local focus is essential for De Bloemenbeek. From soil to serving, or from farm to fork is the motto.  A private herb garden has been created on the estate, and some vegetables are grown in the greenhouse. The so-called “food-miles” therefore reduce, and it also strengthens the local economy. The mini-ecosystem that De Bloemenbeek set up 15 years ago is very up to date now. Several ecological pools have been created for water collection and soil filtration. This year, “insect hotels” and facilities for an apiary for resistant bee types will be created.

 

Biotopes for amphibians and rare flora such as spotted orchids, primroses but even shrubs like gale have also been made. Also, there are high-quality fruit orchards with old varieties on the estate. So not only sustainable entrepreneurship is important, the environment in which the family lives (Twente) is, too. Through this all, Raymond Strikker attempts to contribute to a better Twente. De Bloemenbeek’s approach is given national recognition as pioneers in the hospitality industry.

Date: 31 January 2020
Source of tekst: Twente.com
Author: Twente.com
Audio / video: De Bloemenbeek