Cities with nature are the future

We need to be surrounded by nature in order to be healthy and happy. This idea lies at the heart of Merwede: a green urban district, almost a nature reserve, in the middle of Utrecht. It explains why Bloom has green courtyards, roof gardens, allotments, water gardens, green façades, squares, paths and playgrounds. Incorporating these features into the design will have a huge impact on the well-being, happiness and health of Merwede's residents.


Biodiversity and climate adaptation

Bloom is all about sustainability and biodiversity. Space for urban nature for people and animals. Unrestrained nature instead of neatly trimmed lawns. In the courtyards, the green roofs and in the nest boxes tucked away in the façades, you will see the Merwede Big 5: the butterfly, hedgehog, songbird, bat and swallow. Together with the plants, fragrant flowers, and nut and fruit trees, these animals help ensure a healthy ecosystem. All roofs will be put to use as natural roofs, sedum roofs and roof gardens (50% of the roofs are green roofs). The green roofs (water storage and rainwater collection) and the natural ponds, or wadis, in the inner gardens help absorb heat stress during hot summer months.

A healthy place for people and animals


Sustainable living

The integration of various sustainable measures make Bloom Merwede's one of the most sustainable projects in the Netherlands. All homes are connected to a collective ground-coupled heat exchanger (GCHE), one of the largest geo exchange system in the Netherlands which, together with a series of heat pumps, generate renewable generated electricity to drive heating/cooling processes and hot water heating.The GCHE is connected to the Merwedekanaal and extracts energy from the canal to provide heating and cooling. In addition, all homes are equipped with abalanced ventilation system with heat recovery, are insulated to a very high standard, and 50% of the rooftops are covered with solar panels.

The GCHE and heat pumps are owned by the energy supplier, who ensures the system is maintained adequately and all residents have heating and hot water services. Energy supply tariffs are regulated by the government through the Heating Supply Act, and are set annually by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM). For Merwede, however, collective agreements have been made so that the tariffs do not exceed 90% of the tariff set by the ACM. We are working with an operator to ensure that the energy generated by the solar panels is used locally for, for example, the GCHE or the charging stations in the mobility hubs. 

Sustainable materials

The designs make use of sustainable materials and systems, including timber frame construction, circular concrete structures and circular façade materials (e.g., waste bricks, recycled glass and reused brick). This way, the environmental impact of all materials used is kept to a minimum. All used products are recorded in a materials passport.



Merwede is acar-free neighbourhood. Parking is available in the parking garages along the Europalaan. The pedestrian and cycle path (the so-called dwaalspoor) forms the heart of the district. All residential buildings offer bicycle parking on the ground floor. This is not your run-of-the-mill bicycle shed, but light and open meeting spaces where you mend your flat tire and enjoy a coffee at the bar. We are further investigating how we can facilitate social interaction in the bicycle storage facilities through the Merwede LAB. Upon completion of Bloom, residents can immediately make use of all shared mobility services in Merwede's mobility hubs.