“When we found out that our project would have one of the highest scores of BREEAM, it gave us an extra push to make it the most sustainable office in the world.”
Architect Architecten en Bouwmeesters
Client Getec Beheer BV
Type of building Office
Exploitation year 2015
The EnergyPLUS office of Geelen Counterflow is, with a BREEAM score of 99,94%, the most sustainable office building in the world. A big part of the building is made out of wood and this is visible in both the interior and exterior. This is not just sustainable because it stores CO2, it also works as a buffer for a better indoor climate. Energy is gained with geothermal energy and solar panels and solar collectors on the roof where also rain water is collected to flush the toilets and water the green wall inside the building. In short: everything in the building is designed in a way that adds something to the sustainability. We interviewed Rob Wolfs, one of the architects of Architecten en Bouwmeesters and former TU/e student, who is responsible for the design of this building.
What makes this project so special?
This project focused not just on a few aspects of sustainability, but completely covered all facets, from materialization to energy management. Already in the program of requirements it was the main theme that was implemented in all decisions. Another aspect that makes this project special is the fact that the main supporting construction is totally made of massive non-glued wooden elements.
What makes you most proud in this project?
What this building brings the end user. With a project like this it is important that you keep in mind that the users have to work in a comfortable building and we definitely succeeded in that.
What was a challenge for this project?
All the administration you have to do for BREEAM to make sustainability more measurable. You have to monitor everything from the beginning to the very end.
What do you think is the biggest challenge to make the built environment more sustainable?
Projects like this show that it is already possible to build sustainable. People just need to be convinced to do this. It should not be an exception, but it should be the standard.
What sustainable project inspires you?
There is not just one project that comes into mind, but I would say that all projects that take a lead in sustainability are inspiring and are an example. We already know a lot about sustainability, but the projects that are the most innovative in their materials and try to close the cycle of these materials are the ones that inspire me most.