In 2012 about forty adults together with a growing group of volunteers started building their future eco-houses. In the summer of 2015 the communal Middenhuis was finished. At that moment, everyone was living in their own house. Around 75 people in 23 households, including children. The Aardehuizen are a building unicum: built by the people themselves, assisted by nearly 2000 volunteers from 27 countries. It is the Dutch adaptation of the Earthship concept: fully self-sufficient houses, largely built from waste and natural material, and using sunlight as main source of energy for electricity and heating. The people are a community with ‘freedom in connection’ as guiding principle. Decision-making is done by sociocracy. De Aardehuizen are located on the South border of Olst village, 9 km North of Deventer. The train station is at eight minutes walking distance.
In the vicinity of the Aardehuizen is a rural group accommodation (‘t Ooievaarsnest), a converted farmhouse, half an hour cycling or ten minutes’ drive from Aardehuizen Olst. This offers eight rooms for a total of 32 people, a double bedroom and a dormitory.