Sustainable buildings in the Netherlands
An empty office has been transformed into one of the most sustainable buildings in the Netherlands. The Goede Doelen Loterijen’s (Dutch Charity Lotteries’) new head office in Amsterdam is almost energy neutral, uses 949 solar panels to provide energy, and is rich in greenery, with roof gardens, balconies adorned with trees, and plants indoors. Rainwater is collected and used to water the gardens and flush the toilets, and the striking silver aluminium roof is supported by columns designed to look like trees.
Designed by architects Benthem Crouwel, the office has received an outstanding rating under BREEAM, the worldwide framework used to assess the sustainability of buildings.
The gardens and the restaurant are open to the public, and the building also houses a TV studio where the popular daily shows Koffietijd and 5 Uur Live are filmed, plus a public auditorium that can be used by schools and for lectures and talks.
The renovated building is on the outskirts of the Amsterdam Zuidas business district in the south of the city and had been empty for almost a decade. It accommodates the organisation’s entire 500-strong team, whose work supports charitable projects in developing countries.
Goede Doelen Loterijen employees have been involved in the design process throughout, contributing drawings on which the designs on the panels around the central atrium were based. Many employees had said they wanted the building to have a green, natural feel, like their previous offices. All the materials used in the building are reusable and materials from the demolished parts of the old building have also been recycled.
Under BREEAM, which is administered in the Netherlands by the Dutch Green Building Council, buildings must score 85 percent in their assessment to receive an outstanding rating. The Goede Doelen Loterijen office scored 93 percent.
Based in Amsterdam and Dusseldorf, Benthem Crouwel has more than three decades of architectural experience. Its other projects have included the extension to the Anne Frank House, the Bergbau mining museum in Bochum, Germany, the Ziggo Dome concert hall in Amsterdam, and the Forum Mittelrhein mall in Koblenz, Germany. The firm also designed the Amtrium RAI conference centre in Amsterdam, which became the first building in the Netherlands to be awarded BREEAM excellent status in 2013.
If your company is helping to make the world a more sustainable place, you could be eligible for government funding through the R and D tax credit scheme. Companies whose work involves scientific or environmental research and development can apply to the scheme, which gives you some of your tax back to help you cover your costs. At R&D Tax Solutions, we specialise in helping companies make successful claims. Have a look at our page on how to calculate R&D tax credits to find out more – and call us on 0161 298 1010 to see how we can help.