Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Enexis Maastricht in Netherlands by atelier PRO architekten
May 16th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: atelier PRO architekten
With the development and realization of three new regional offices in Maastricht, Zwolle and Venlo, all designed by Atelier PRO, Enexis is entering a new era as a transmission system operator, in which the development of an intelligent electricity grid is concurrent with the construction of energy-neutral housing.
The new regional offices respond to this emerging paradigm, as sustainable and comfortable headquarters for the company’s installation, management and maintenance operations.
As a transmission system operator, Enexis is a leader in sustainable and socially-responsible entrepreneurship. Subsequently, a fundamental design intent was to achieve an energy-neutral new construction, while giving attention to the well-being both of employees and the environment. The sustainability level has been measured according BREEAM standards, in which Outstanding and Excellent are the highest achievable scores. We are proud to say that Enexis’ regional office in Maastricht has been awarded the first energy-neutral BREEAM Excellent design certification in the Netherlands.
Enexis’ sustainable regional office in Maastricht is prominently situated on the corner of the Willem Alexanderweg and the Balijeweg. The elongated building is accented by a high office mass at the street corner, defining the urban block, giving shape to the building’s entrance and working to create scale transitions to fit the building affably into its context.
The sculptural façades, inspired by a work of Delft artist Jan Schoonhoven, are made from composite material, and are prefabricated for efficient installation on a modular construction system that is disassemble-able and recyclable at the end of its life-cyle. The shape and positioning of the windows limit direct sunlight around midday during the summer, while providing generous pleasant daylight for working throughout the year. The arrangement protects the highly-insulated building from solar gain, while ensuring that every employee can enjoy the view.
Within the building, the central atrium is especially remarkable. It functions as a ‘green lung’, a mitigated outdoor climate from which fresh air can be drawn for ventilation. This atrium is the heart of the building: together with a patio, it offers a place for workers to greet and gather, ‘white-collar’ and ‘blue-collar’ alike.
Throughout the complex, temperature is controlled through radiant ceilings, adjustable individually for maximum efficiency and comfort. Low-energy lighting is installed in combination with daylight control and presence detection.
Together, these measures have resulted in a highly energy-efficient building. To reach a zero energy performance coefficient, photovoltaic cells (PV) have been placed on the roof to fulfill the remaining energy demand. Any surplus electricity, of course, can simply be fed into Enexis’ own public energy transmission network.
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