A huge timber ‘groundscraper’ with a small carbon footprint

2 March 2018

CLT use will cut the Dutch Mountains’ carbon footprint

A giant futuristic business complex in the Netherlands is set to make the most of CLT.

The capabilities of CLT will be stretched, in the horizontal plane, with construction of the Dutch Mountains – a 440m-long “groundscraper” that will be almost as long as the Petronas Towers are tall – due to be built near Eindhoven in the Netherlands early next year.

The 80,000 sq m complex, located in the town of Veldhoven, is conceived as a futuristic Google-style HQ with an open-plan layout designed to maximise interaction between tenants which currently include electronics giant Philips and the Brainport Experience Center, a showcase for pioneering technologies.

The detailed design is being developed by a team including architect Studio Marco Vermeulen, property development consultant Urban XChange, creative development agency BLOC, and consulting engineer Arup.

The building’s structural frame is likely to be built from 100% CLT as part of ambitious long-term environmental targets.

Marco Vermeulen, director of Studio Marco Vermeulen, tells CM: “A full CLT structural frame should not be too difficult because, at 11 storeys high, this is not a high-rise. The use of timber is expected to have an enormous impact on the carbon footprint, mainly due to the amount of CO2 sequestered in the wood.”

An innovative circular economic financing model will see building services and systems leased to the Dutch Mountains service company by manufacturers, rather than sold as a one-off purchase.

This will enable various components, including facade systems and interior luminaires, to be removed and updated or replaced, using simple click-on/click-off systems, roughly every 10 to 15 years, as the technology advances.

“The model is very interesting because will it give the manufacturer an incentive to update systems to make them more energy efficient, enabling us to increase the amount of energy harvested,” says Vermeulen.

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