About us

Team with a mission

In 2012, Wubbo Ockels and Suze Gehem founded De Groene Grachten with the words: “If even a centuries-old canal house can be made sustainable, then everything can!” Since then, we have made an impact by making buildings and areas more sustainable, starting with the most difficult buildings: monuments.

We advise on the opportunities for energy saving, generation and circularity in and around heritage. We supervise project implementation and offer training sessions, workshops and lectures. We also develop knowledge platforms and coordinate area-specific approaches.

Making buildings and areas more sustainable

The starting point was to make six Amsterdam canal houses more sustainable. De Groene Grachten is now active for building owners, companies and governments, both domestically and abroad. Hundreds of projects, ranging from homes to museums and from churches to district projects, have already been supported in their sustainability challenge. Some examples are the Great Church of The Hague, student association L.A.N.X., Royal Tropical Institute, Soestdijk Palace and Green Light District. We are happy to put our specialist knowledge of making historical buildings and areas more sustainable to use for you.

Sustainable advice

We provide tailored advice on making a building more sustainable. We elaborate the plans in technical, financial and legal detail. This way, you as a client know what is possible in the field of energy saving, generation, circularity, water, etc.

Implementation guidance

Would you like to take action in response to the advice? We can also supervise the implementation of the plans. We can help you with everything from permit to financing.

Area approach

We have extensive experience in managing innovative, sustainable projects. This varies from setting up ‘Green Light District’ and ‘Rooftop Revolution’ to large energy exchange projects.

Storytelling & presentations

We use our experience in communication, working methods and supervision of creative sessions to design and lead workshops and lectures on sustainability in the built environment..

Our core values


We take on challenging, daring projects. Playing “Mission Impossible” is in our DNA.


We do this together, because together we are strong. We make connections and believe in openness, equality and transparency.


We don’t just make plans, we do things so that buildings and areas actually become sustainable.


Making an impact gives both us and our clients a lot of energy.


We are always learning new things. Both our clients and us grow around every project and every collaboration.

Want to help build De Groene Grachten?

A menu for everyone

Would you like to get started on the first steps of sustainability yourself? We have summarised important knowledge and experience about making monuments more sustainable for you in The Green Menu. On this website, you can read about what sustainability options there are and how this can be tackled in your situation. There are now menus specifically for homes, churches, farms, mills, forts and country estates. Through an interactive building on the website, you will discover what measures you can take. The measures are subdivided into the themes: Quick wins, Insulation & Ventilation, Electricity, Heating and Water & Greenery. We show what the measures will do in terms of comfort, savings, environmental impact and financing and regulation. If you are interested, the measures can be added to a ‘wish list’ and you will immediately get a clear overview of the possibilities in your situation.

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