The new office is an example of integral building. The old office tower originates from 1973 and used to be a so-called “sick building” dealing with problems such as a bad indoor climate, asbestos and a leaking house front. The existing tower is surrounded by new construction of low building wings. The visionary architectural concept of the architect’s firm Cepezed required an innovative approach to installation which Grontmij realised.
In the building many sustainable techniques have been used such as ‘concrete core activation’. This is a way of cooling and warming the building that uses the building mass and which is integrated in the floor construction. This technique is combined with energy storage in the ground and the utilization of warmth pumps. By storing warmth or cold in the ground and using this in another season the indoor climate is kept to the desired temperature with minimum energy use.
Additionally there are four climate zones in this building: an office climate, conservatory climate, entrance climate and a courtyard garden climate (sheltered from the wind). These climate zones form the basis of the integral design.
A passive intelligent building
The goal of this building was to build an intelligent building that can adapt to different uses and different external influences. Examples of this built-in intelligence are:
- Cooling and warming via ‘concrete core activation’
- The building front which keeps most of the wind and sun out without completely shutting them out.
- Conservatories which dampen the climate influences from outside and have a useful function.
In this project it is the first time that biodynamic lighting is used at such a large scale. The system is derived from the Carpe diem system of Philips, but is not entirely the same as it uses different fittings. The intensity of the light and the light colour is adapted to a human’s biological clock. The light and the colour of the light changes gradually during the day.
Dutch Construction Award
Recently the head office ‘Westraven’ of the Dutch Department of Public works (Rijkswaterstaat) won the Dutch Construction award in the category Buildings. The awards were presented on Wednesday 11 February during the Dutch Construction Gala.
Jury chairman Karla Peijs commented: “The entirely renewed building is a wonderful beacon in the complex urban architectural environment. The building stands for progress and transparency”. The jury also highly valued the sustainability of the building.