The head office of insurance company a.s.r. and the office of DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) are in the top 5 of the Happy Building Index. A newcomer on this list is CSMART in Almere which was recently opened. As consultants, Deerns was involved in the (re)development of these buildings, which are appreciated by their users for, among other things, the light, sound, indoor air and the temperature. The index shows that sustainability and comfort for the user can go hand in hand.
The Happy Building Index
Buildings listed in the Happy Building Index are buildings in which users like to spend time, in which people come into contact with each other and which inspire users to get the best out of themselves. In short, buildings that make users happy. This feeling of happiness is increased by building aspects such as a good indoor climate, daylight entrance and catering and landscaping in and around the buildings. And by the knowledge that the building has minimal negative impact on the environment.
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 has been awarded a BREEAM-NL Excellent design and implementation certificate and the energy label A++ (formerly G).
DIFFER (Dutch Institute For Fundamental Energy Research) is the first laboratory building in the Netherlands to have a BREEAM Excellent certificate. This integral design is the result of cooperation between various parties, under the final responsibility of Ector Hoogstad Architecten. DIFFER achieved this score partly thanks to the sustainable energy supply, including hot and cold storage (ATES), solar panels, LED lighting, maximum daylight entrance, windows that open and optimal comfort through climate ceilings. In addition, the specially designed sawtooth profile of the east and west facades ensures that there is always sufficient daylight in the offices, without direct sunlight penetration.
CSMART Almere new in the Happy Building Index
The trainings centre of Carnival Corporation was recently included in the Index. The building was opened on 14 July 2016 and is LEED Gold certified. The training centre is part of the almost three-hectare campus, where Carnival Corporation also has its hotel. Partly thanks to the Deerns building physics, energy and sustainability advice, the world’s largest cruise company now has two highly sustainable, LEED Gold certified buildings.