ETE-34306 Energy, Water, and Waste Cycles in the Built Environment


Studiepunten 6.00

One day excursion18
Project learning12
Course coordinator(s)dr. L Rodic-Wiersma
Lecturer(s)dr. L Rodic-Wiersma
dr. ir. K Kujawa-Roeleveld
dr. ir. I Leusbrock
Examiner(s)dr. L Rodic-Wiersma
dr. ir. K Kujawa-Roeleveld

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

ETE-22806 Principles of Urban Environmental Management; ETE-25306 Basics of Urban Environmental Technology or equivalent knowledge obtained elsewhere.

Continuation courses:

ETE-32806 Managing Urban Environmental Infrastructure; ETE-33806 Planning and Design of Urban Space.


Unlimited exploitation of natural resources based on linear thinking and the use of various hazardous substances that affect environmental health, pose major challenges in the context of rapid urbanisation. This course focuses on the significance, concepts and methodologies of a circular approach - closing resource (energy, water and waste materials) cycles in accordance with sustainability principles, including various technologies to achieve this in practice. Based on the concept of urban metabolism, students are given the opportunity to critically examine and apply several conceptual frameworks that aim at closing resource cycles, such as Cradle to Cradle, Biomimicry, Industrial Ecology, and the Natural Step. The main methodology applied in the course is Cradle to Cradle. Products and services are designed from a positive agenda of increasing quality and creating value for a city. Waste materials are considered as a resource and are returned to either biological or technological cycles, at the same or higher level of quality. Various technologies for closing the cycles are discussed. In addition, assessments are provided of situations where the application of individual technologies and their combinations are most appropriate, so as to ensure sustainability under given local conditions regarding scale, climate and rural-urban typology (developing-, transition-, or developed countries).
The course combines lectures with field visits to (semi-)closed cycles working in practice, and a group assignment that challenges students to propose and design viable circular systems in a specific urban context.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- demonstrate understanding of the importance of closing urban resource cycles: energy, water and (in)organic waste materials;
- distinguish among various concepts related to closing resource cycles, including Cradle to Cradle, Biomimicry, Industrial Ecology, and the Natural Step;
- evaluate the possibilities and limitations of various technologies;
- make a conceptual design of a system to close resource cycles at various scales and for various rural-urban typologies (developing-, transition-, developed countries) using pre-defined sustainability criteria.


- lectures
- assignment: A group assignment focusing on closing energy, water and waste material cycles through integration of various technologies into a viable system, including a critical evaluation of options in accordance with sustainability criteria as applied to a particular setting;
- workshop: Search and critical analysis of relevant scientific information;
- three study visits: a C2C project in a city (e.g. Almere), renewable energy application (e.g. TNT distribution centre), water re-use (e.g. decentralized sanitation Sneek).


Written examination (60%), group assignment (40%). In order to pass the examination, a passing mark in each individual part is required.


Course reader.

Keuze voor: MUEUrban Environmental ManagementMSc4WD