On Wednesday 29 June, the opening of the new office of the insurance company a.s.r. was celebrated in the Netherlands, and the BREEAM-NL Excellent implementation certificate was also awarded. The 3,650 staff members of a.s.r. began work in the renovated head office in Utrecht at the end of 2015. Deerns took care of the MEP design and handled the BREEAM commissioning of the renovated a.s.r. complex, which is now one of the most modern and sustainable office buildings in the Netherlands.
Deerns design awarded BREEAM-NL Excellent
The a.s.r. head office is, at 85,000m², one of the largest office buildings in the Netherlands. In 2011, a.s.r. decided to renovate the complex sustainably and make it suitable for flexible working in line with its own New Generation of Working concept. Key objectives were to halve energy consumption and accommodation costs by 2020. The renovation achieved the BREEAM-NL Excellent design and implementation certificate and the energy label A++ (formerly G). Deerns was responsible for the system and BREEAM design.
Iris Oort, project manager at a.s.r.: “Sustainability is an important pillar for a.s.r. We have a proactive policy in terms of energy savings, waste management, mobility and limiting CO2 emissions. We included all these aspects in the solution for the accommodation issue. The choice of renovation was fundamental for the environment. It avoids adding new vacant space to an office market that is already confronted with large amounts of vacant space."
Heat and cold storage system meets virtually all the energy demand
The new climate façade with double glass walls, which also act as a cavity, plays a key part in energy savings. The heat storage system’s capacity has been more than doubled. By combining the heat and cold storage system with a heat pump, Deerns created a high temperature cooling system and a low temperature heating system for cooling and heating via climate ceilings and floor heating. Because the heat and cold storage system provided virtually all the energy requirement, a small central heating boiler is sufficient to compensate for peaks and failures. Other measures, such as high frequency lighting, presence detection, ventilation with fresh outside air via climate ceilings, PV panels on the roofs, water-efficient toilets and taps, the reuse of office furniture and floor coverings, all contribute to the level of comfort and sustainability required by BREEAM-NL Excellent.
23,000 tonnes of waste material reused
The use of raw and other materials has been kept to a minimum. Almost 23,000 tonnes of waste material was reused. Staff members sit on refurbished chairs from the old office. The foam from the old chairs has been used in the insulation. The carpet on the floors (42,000m²) is made from recyclable material. The old carpet was given a second life as yarn and as a raw material in road construction and roof covering.
Since its completion at the end of 2015, the building has supported flexible working in open, light spaces with flexible work and meeting spaces surrounded by coffee corners where staff members can meet informally. The presence detection prevents the heating and lighting from coming on unnecessarily.30 June 2016