Province of Fryslân

Battery-free technology fulfills circular construction goals


In May 2022, the Province of Fryslân in the Netherlands opened a new power station – It Swettehûs. The building belongs to the Provincial Public Works department which is responsible for managing and maintaining roads and waterways. It Swettehûs currently controls the operation and remote opening of 25 bridges (with a future capacity of 40 bridges) and acts as a support point for the department.

Sustainability is important to the province and the new building is unique in that it is a perfect example of circular construction. The principles behind circular construction are to stop depleting natural resources, emitting hazardous substances and polluting the environment, and instead reuse materials, reduce waste streams and create sustainable and future-proof buildings.

In It Swettehûs, 44% of the materials used are recycled and 12% are biobased. There is sufficient sustainable energy generation and storage for user- and building-related energy, including for the control center, the electric vehicle and vessel fleets and for one of the connected bridges.

When it came to selecting an access management solution for the new building, the province looked towards iLOQ’s digital locking solution. iLOQ’s solution is battery-free and eliminates 100,000 kg of unrecyclable battery waste every year. It also saves the environmental impact of maintenance-related travel to change batteries. Access rights are programmed to digital keys. Users need only one key to move efficiently around the premises eliminating wasted resources on making copies of keys. These access rights can be quickly and easily updated as needs change using iLOQ’s cloud-based software. Lost or stolen keys can be immediately blocked eliminating the need to change all the locks and reissue keys saving time, money and resources.

High levels of security are also vital to ensure only authorized people have access to the control room for the bridges and the server rooms. Administrators have a clear view at all times of who has access to where and when. Restricted access can be set, for example, for cleaners to ensure they only have access to a certain room at certain times. The access log makes it possible to check afterwards who has used which room and at what time to prevent or solve instances of misuse.

Currently, about 100 iLOQ S5 cylinders and 300 keys are in use. But the flexibility to extend the system was also an important consideration for the province.

“We are pleased with the secure and flexible iLOQ system for our new building. It makes it a user-friendly and safe environment to work in,” states Rudolf Douma, Project Manager, Province of Fryslân.

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