Pilot description

In cooperation with the Circular Support Team, Camping and villa park the Paardekreek has defined, designd and created a circular tourist accommodation that serves as a model for a new type of accommodation in the tourism sector.

“The dike suites should not only inspire guests to be more aware of their use of materials. We would also like to encourage entrepreneurs from the region to build in a circular way.” - Arjen Brinkman, owner Camping & Villapark de Paardekreek. 

Guests are constantly looking for new accommodations and new experiences, therefore the Paardekreek wants to meet this need by building circular accommodations. By meeting this needs this project partner meets the currently changing market in tourist accommodations. Circularity assumes that today's products are the raw materials for later: after use, products can be disassembled and the materials reused. It contrasts with the current approach in which we keep purchasing, using and throwing away new products. This disposable and replacement culture has an enormous impact on the planet, while circularity is based on a world without waste. Benefits include: if the accommodation is rebuilt in ten years’ time, the materials can be reused so no new sources are required and also if the accommodation does not meet the requirements of tourists anymore over time, the accommodation can be disassembled and the materials can be reused.

The new type of accommodations that is built by camping and villa park the Paardekreek is called Dikesuites. This brand-new residence is circular, energy efficient and has no gas connection, heating and cooking are done with electricity. To save energy, high-quality natural insulation and triple insulated glass are used. The accommodations will literally be built in a dike. The dike in which the Paardekreek is going to realize the new accommodations is land that was left after the villa park was built in 2005. The excavation of a creek left this land which is now being used again. By building these accommodations in a circular manner, the Paardekreek hopes to be an example for other recreation entrepreneurs to have suitable accommodation for the permanently changing wishes of the guest.

The Paardekreek will build these accommodations in a circular manner with a construction team from various local companies. The construction team is composed of companies that are interested in circular construction and actively contribute ideas. The construction of the dike suites was completed in July 2021. Read more in the timeline below.

Pilot video

In our project video, FACET colleague and owner of the Paardekreek Arjen Brinkman tells you more about the content of this pilot. Interested? Watch the video below.

Involved organizations (Netherlands)

WTS architecten

Advice on design, welfare and interior design. WTS also provides advice on the construction process and construction execution.

Bouwbedrijf Rijk

The work of Bouwbedrijf Rijk (or Construction Company Rijk) included coordinating the entire construction process and realizing the prefabricated levee suites.

Video by Bouwbedrijf Rijk

Installatiebedrijf van de Velde

Responsible for installations in the accommodation.

Bruynzeel keukens

In addition to developing and producing new sustainable kitchens, Bruynzeel Keukens collects the old kitchens. For example, the kitchen cabinets are not burned, but processed into raw material for new chipboard. From which Bruynzeel Keukens then makes new kitchens.

Madino Terrasmeubilair

Supplier of patio furniture.

Timeline and pictures

| September 2022: One year of Dikesuites

Meanwhile, the dike suites have been in the rental for already a year! With solar panels on the roof and walls made of recycled wood, this accommodation is energy efficient and of course circularly built.

Lessons learned by the entrepeneurs are:

  • Learned that it is important to work with a team where opportunities are figured out together as well as challenges. You encounter both when you build non-standard and it's nice to be able to think together about that;
  • That also involves adaptability. You have to adapt yourself when things are different from what you thought in advance.
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| September 2021: The dike is turning green!

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Van de Velde green care has started sowing the dike where the Zeeland dike suites are located. This is done by means of hydroseeding (a mixture of water, seed, fertilizer, glue and a carrier). A sustainable way of sowing! For now the dike is literally green, but in a while beautiful green grass with a cheerful mixture of flowers will grow here.

| September 2021: Guest reviews

After the construction of the dike suites has been completed, the first guests were welcomed in the accommodation on 15 July 2021. Several guests have already been able to use the accommodations The first comments from guests:

‘Excellent stay in the dike suites. Felt luxurious! Furthermore, good food in the restaurant. Enjoyed it!’

‘We had a great week in the new location of the dike suites. Great beds actually everything you need is there. Friendly


Other responses are also:“ Beautiful completely new accommodation. Very good concept. Great terraces, fine furniture, and lots of privacy. ”

| July 2021: Opening of the dike suites

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On Thursday the 15th of july the Zeeland Dijksuites were festively opened. De Paardekreek is looking forward to the first guests who can stay in the accommodations!

| July 2021: The construction of the dike suites has been completed!

The construction of the dike suites has been completed. The opening of the accommodations will take place later this month. Read here the review of the project of owners Arjen Brinkman and Marijke Brinkman:

The planning of the project was sometimes challenging due to the variety of partners and the circumstances on the building site. The accommodations are build on a high surface where is not always good access and enough space. This means that not every party can be on the construction site at the same time. This was a challenge when it comes to project planning and there were due to some other circumstances some delays.
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In the beginning the project had a big delay due to a review of the profiling of the dike. Drawings had to be updated which caused a delay in time of other activities. A second challenge was the leftover ground which had to be disposed. It was decided to replace a part of the leftover ground in the adjacent creek which worked out well, because the turning point for big machinery was therefore larger. Also challenging was the use of concrete turning elements which seemed not possible due to the construction of the accommodations. In stead of these concrete elements a choice was made for Lego concrete blocks which are also circular, because they can easily be taken apart and used again. A last big challenge was about the delivery of the materials on time. Partly due to the outbreak of the corona crisis, the delivery of materials for construction was delayed. These unexpectedly long delivery times have caused delays.
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The different partners worked hard to have the dike suites finished by July. The initial planning was to have them finished before the season in March. Unfortunately, this did not work out due to the aforementioned issues. The Dike Suites have become luxury circular accommodations with a kitchen, two bathrooms, heating elements and luxury (garden) furniture.

More pictures can be found via the website of Villapark de Paardekreek: https://ap.lc/BP9Oz

| June 2021:

The last work on the Zeeland Dijksuites is currently being completed and guests can come and enjoy these circular, sustainable and energy-efficient accommodations from mid-July.

Old gym floor recycled

The suites are made of materials that can be recycled. For example, the concrete blocks are easy to disassemble. And many materials are screwed instead of glued on. In the accommodations, you can find lots of re-used materials. Such as the tables which are made from an old gym floor from a local sports hall. 

Architect Michaël Strenk (WTS architects) explains that the accommodation is future-proof. Michaël Strenk: “It was built on the understanding that this phase of use is only the first and should facilitate future possibilities. In reuse, the modules can therefore be used as a whole without having to be demolished or waste created.”

Circularity as part of the guest experience

Michaël Strenk of WTS architects designed the circular dike suites. For him, building circular was a logical choice. “We have set ourselves the challenge of integrating the new accommodations uniquely: into the natural setting of the dike and forest. The choice for 'natural use of materials' was, therefore, a good basis for the connection with the landscape as a carrier for the guest experience.”

An accommodation ready for the future

To be able to retain the value of the accommodation for longer, it is constructed from movable 'building blocks' and disconnected from the dike. This flexibility offers the option of rebuilding the suites in new combinations at a different location if the recreational product no longer meets the guest's wishes. This is an important advantage because holiday homes are quickly outdated due to the fast-changing market. Michaël Strenk: “It was built on the understanding that this phase of use is only the first and should facilitate future possibilities. In reuse, the modules can therefore be used as a whole without having to be demolished or waste created. Interested in materials that have been used? Click here for the list of materials.

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| Start: the design phase

One of the dutch partners in the Interreg 2 Seas project FACET is camping and villaparc the Paardekreek. Owners Marijke and Arjen Brinkman will build circular dike suites during the coming period. An interesting project because of the construction and the implementation in the environment. In the FACET project, they will share the knowledge and experiences they gain throughout the building process, from assembling a team to furnishing the suites. Circularity in the recreational sector. Marijke en Arjen found a team of contractors who will be working with the construction of the eight suites. Finding the right contractors was difficult, says Marijke Brinkman.

“You look for people who find circular building interesting and who already have experience with it. Your want expertise and cooperation. For us, one of the demands was a contractor who actively participates in the development process of the accommodations. “

Their advice to those entrepreneurs is to take the time to look for partnerships that work.

“Find partners who consider circular building important. If you start working with partners who build traditionally and are not really open to the circular way, the process will be very long. However, join forces and together you can reach great results.”

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On the News

The pilot of the circular dike suites has been in the news several times! Find the articles here (Dutch)

Omroep Zeeland (local news, Zeeland, Netherlands) - https://www.omroepzeeland.nl/nieuws/128931/Een-duurzame-vakantie-vieren-in-een-dijk-dan-ben-je-pas-milieuvriendelijk

Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant (local news, Zeeland, Netherlands) - https://www.pzc.nl/bevelanden/vakantie-vieren-in-een-dijk-bij-de-paardekreek-de-suites-zijn-nog-volledig-te-recyclen-ook~a7804e2c/

Which R-strategies are applicable?

Several circularity strategies exist to reduce the consumption of natural resources and materials, and minimise the production of waste. They can be ordered for priority according to their levels of circularity. Strategies in circular economy are Refuse, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, REpair, Refurbish, Remanufaturer, Repurpose, Recycle and Recover.

Re-use: The Paardekreek uses for building and furnishing the accommodation products that have already been used for other purposes. The stelcom plates on which the accommodations are located are second-hand, for the table in the accommodation a table top which is an old floor from a sports hall may be used. In addition, the accommodation will be built so that the materials can be easily disassembled and reused. This also applies to the installation and connection of electricity.

Recycle: Products that are used for the construction and interior of the accommodation are from recycled materials, such as for example the outdoor chairs. The kitchen in the accommodation is also made by using secondary raw materials and the packaging materials are recyclable.

Do you want to know more about these 9-R strategies? Find an explanation on our FACET page by clicking here.

An example for construction

The homes have been developed in collaboration with Impuls Zeeland, HZ University of Applied Sciences, and the Province of Zeeland. Owners Arjen and Marijke Brinkman are partners in the international project FACET. They are happy to share their knowledge and experiences of circular construction with other entrepreneurs. Please contact us for more information.

Over deze pilot

Thema: Circulair building
R-strategie: Recycle, Reuse
Betrokken partners: WTS architecten, Bouwbedrijf Rijk, Van de Velde installatiegroep, Bruynzeel Keukens, Madino Terrasmeubilair