The Showcase publication for Almelo City Hall (click here), offering insights into the development process and lessons learned, is now available. Subscribe to our newsletter and read about future Showcases in our next Eurban Update!
- Built Environment
The newly built City Hall has a gross floor area of 20.800m2. Almost 9% (1.820m2) is accessible for the public. A completely transparent ground floor provides pedestrians with a view of the entire city hall. This is where, amongst others, the wedding hall and public hall are situated. Above the ground floor, on the 1st floor, the council, the administrative areas and the conference center are situated. The parking garage is situated on the 2nd floor. Cars can reach the garage only via a special car elevator. The design team chose for this system because it is more environmentally friendly than having a regular carpark where visitors drive to their parking space.
In their statement of requirements, the municipal council demanded an ambitious BREEAM rating of 4 stars (BREEAM-NL Excellent). The available budget (€1300/m2) would be sufficient for a normal office building or a school, but not for a large City Hall, let alone a highly sustainable building. By incorporating several techniques and technologies, the developing parties were able to design a building that meets the municipality’s demands.
The building is designed to be compact and to make optimal use of natural light. A recurrent problem in offices is overheating, which requires additional cooling. Therefore, north-facing windows are enlarged, whilst the south-facing window surface is reduced. To further reduce the energy consumption for lighting, LED-lights and daylight sensors are installed. Concrete core activation (CCA), extensive insulation measures, combined with an ATES-system (Aquifer Thermal Energy) and heath pumps provide the building with a sustainable system for heating and cooling. The ATES-system is unique to the region of Almelo because of its complex soil structure, which only rarely allows the application of such systems.
In order to build a compact City Hall that would reduce the amount of construction materials needed, an innovative approach was taken. A smart integrated flooring system provides a flexible space for the necessary installations. This means that for piping and construction, only 60 centimeters of space per floor was available, whereas the standard is 90 cm. In total this saves almost an entire floor’s worth of construction materials. Moreover, nearly 95% of all waste generated during construction was separated in different waste streams and offered for recycling.
The design process of the building features an innovative approach. When the design team met for the first time, there was no plan whatsoever but the goal was clear: to build a BREEAM-Excellent building. The team worked instensively together for a week in a so-called “pressure cooker”. Having all disciplines together allows for the creation of an integrated design for sustainable buildings.
Start construction: July 2013
Building officially in use: April 2015
Investment Budget: € 58,765,578
Surface area: approximately 20,000 m2
Height: 49 meters
493 flexible workplaces
100 parking spaces for visitors
350 places for bicycles in garage
Project partners: Kraaijvanger architects, Construction company Koopmans – J.P. van Eesteren
Image credit: Courtesy of Kraaijvanger architects