Venlo City Hall - A Cradle2Cradle inspired building
Venlo City Hall - A Cradle2Cradle inspired building
Designed by Kraaijvanger Architects, the new building is an inspiring example of implementing the Cradle to Cradle philosophy on building scale. Venlo City Hall is one of the first and few construction projects in the Netherlands where the Cradle2Cradle philosophy has been ingrained in the design and operations of the building.
Primary project use
Public Institution
Project Type
New Build
Spatial Scale
Single Building
Site Characteristics
Sectors of Innovation
  • Adaption to Climate Change
  • Built Environment
  • Energy
  • Water Resources
Type of Innovation
  • Technical
Origin of the idea
  • Government
Time to Market
0 - 2 years
Project Status
Being Implemented

The design of the newly built city hall for the municipality of Venlo shows that the Cradle2Cradle philosophy can be applied on building scale. Venlo City Hall is one of the first and few construction projects in the Netherlands with a clearly defined Cradle2Cradle ambition.

With a total office floor space of 13,500m2, the building will provide in 620 work places for 900 employees. A 3-layer public parking garage provides in 400 parking lits. The design and construction process is planned within 5 years, with a planned opening of the building at the end of 2015. The Cradle2Cradle inspired innovation project has a total estimated cost of €46 million.

Sustainability measures:
The requirements for the building, including its Cradle to Cradle ambition, are laid out in the programme of requirements. This blueprint, consisting of a vision instead of a complete design request, functioned as the basis for the European architectural tendr procedure. Out of 50 candidates, Kraaijvanger Architects won the tender for this innovative project.
Three central elements of the vision were (1) a large green facade would clean the indoor and outdoor air of the city hall, (2) the use of Cradle to Cradle inspired materials that can be recycled afterwards, and lastly (3) the building would need to generate more energy than it will consume.

An important Cradle to Cradle principle is the sustainable use of water. The building divides water in five water streams: (1) rainwater, (2) drinking water, (3) grey water and (4) black water. Rainwater is collected on the roof of the building to water the green facade and to flush the toilets. So-called ‘grey water’, such as residual water from sinks, is collected in a biological system with a hylofyt filter. The water is then used again to flush the toilets.
The indoor air-quality of most office buildings is poor with adverse effects on the employee’s productivity and amount of sick-days. A greenhouse is situated at the top of the building to function as its ‘green lungs’. The greenhouse will purify the air that then enters the building though a piping system, bringing the purified air to a comfortable level. A large atrium, from ground floor to the rooftop, provides a natural ventilation flow. A large green wall, with a surface of 2,200m2, purifies the used air before it leaves the building.
In terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy, the city council demanded a building with a energy demand that is 50% below the national requirement. The building would need to be certified with an Energy Label of A+. In total, 1000m2 of PV panels are incorporated in the south facade of the building. Geothermal energy is used together with 25m2 of solar water heaters to provide heat for the building.

Click here for an infographic of the building.

In short:
Client: Municipality of Venlo
Start design: Spring of 2009
In-use: Winter of 2015 (expected)
Total costs: €46 million
Gross floor area: approximately 27700m2
620 flexible workplaces
400 parking spaces
Project partners: Municipality of Venlo, Kraaijvanger architects, Laudy/Ballast Nedam

Image credit: Courtesy of Kraaijvanger architects

Creator of profile
  • Roger Toussaint, MSc.
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