Hoogeveen's Tiny Hydrogen House

08 March 2022 - Published by Deirdre Buist
The Dutch Municipality of Hoogeveen in Drenthe is retrofitting some 427 houses in the Erflanden neighbourhood, switching the heating source from natural gas to green hydrogen. By installing hydrogen boilers and re-using the existing natural gas infrastructure, it is one of the most advanced projects in the world. To help create public support - and educate future generations in this innovative technology - the Hydrogen Tiny House has been built as a showcase project. It is a collective initiative of the Municipality, Alfa College and a business platform that stimulates cooperation in the regional technical sector.

Hydrogen could prove to be a very promising alternative as a heating source. It is an innocuous gas and can be completely CO2 neutral, if green energy is used for electrolysis. The great advantage to hydrogen is that it can be stored, in contrast to wind and solar energy. 

Together with local partners from Hoogeveen, Stronghouse will demonstrate a hydrogen adoption strategy, creating ownership for homeowners and local enterprises.  Successful implementation depends on complete cooperation with the homeowners and working with all stakeholders in a  process of joint design.

The Hydrogen Tiny House

To help create public support for the use of green hydrogen, the Hydrogen Tiny House  (funded by the local Regio Deal Zuid- en Oost- Drenthe) is an ideal showcase project,  closely linked to the  Erflanden hydrogen neighbourhood.  By demonstrating that hydrogen is a viable alternative energy source in the built environment, the Hydrogen Tiny House contributes to the national and even global challenge of the energy transition.

A collective initiative

Developed and built together with students from Alfa College, the Hydrogen Tiny House is a collective initiative of the Municipality of Hoogeveen, Alfa College and ‘Vrienden van Techniek Hoogeveen’ (a platform that stimulates regional  interaction between companies in the technical sector and educational institutes). In a hybrid learning environment that merges practical and theoretical knowledge, students were involved in every phase of the build (planning, research,sustainability aspects and the installation of a hydrogen system), guided by their tutors and in collaboration with a wide range of associated companies from the region.

Teaching the technology

The Stronghouse consortium has mentioned, many times, the great shortage of technically skilled professionals across Europe as a barrier to the acceleration of the Renovation Wave. The Hydrogen Tiny House project  is an inspiring example of how this scarcity is being tackled in Drenthe.  As part of the project, a hydrogen curriculum has now been developed by Alfa College for all levels, with a goal to raising interest for technical studies and preparing the next generation's path to a more sustainable future.



A collective initiative: The Municipality of Hoogeveen, Alfa College and 'Vrienden van Techniek Hoogeveen' work closely.

The Hydrogen Tiny House is built with sustainable and circular materials. Two systems are demonstrated in the house: a hydrogen boiler and an off-grid installation that makes hydrogen through electricity collected from solar panels on the roof.

The Living on Hydrogen Tour

By showcasing the technology,  the Hydrogen Tiny House is a valuable asset to the Stronghouse demonstration project in Hoogeveen's Erflanden. Lessons learned, in terms of  building with circular materials and working with hydrogen, are shared during the ‘Living on Hydrogen Tour’. The Tiny House has now visited six locations in the region and been viewed with great interest.

The Stronghouse transnational hydrogen pilot involving the Municipality of Hoogeveen, Stad Bremerhaven, the Province of Drenthe, Bremerhaven Hydrogen (H2BX) and Vives University can also benefit  greatly from this best practice and  knowledge exchange. 

Take a look at this short film about building the Hydrogen (Waterstof) Tiny House - from idea to execution.


And what do the residents of the future H2O neighbourhood think of this Tiny House? .


Read more on the Hydrogen Tiny House (in Dutch)