Sustainable renovation

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Witteveen+Bos can also make an important contribution to sustainable development through our own business operations. In 2017, we therefore embarked on the renovation of the largest Witteveen+Bos office. Over the course of about a year, the Leeuwenbrug building in Deventer, the Netherlands has been extensively renovated with the aim of creating a pleasant and sustainable working environment for approximately 450 colleagues. 

Thanks to the innovative solutions applied, we have managed to convert a building with energy label D to one with energy label A+++

Jaap de Koning was responsible on behalf of Witteveen+Bos for the renovation of the ‘Leeuwenbrug’ office building, originally built in 1975. There were three main reasons for this project: the office was technically and aesthetically past its prime, Witteveen+Bos wished to apply its ‘PLUSworking’ office concept, and we wanted to demonstrate our expertise in sustainable building renovation. ‘The result is a building with an excellent sustainability performance, incorporating various innovative solutions. In addition, the ‘PLUSworking’ office concept enables our colleagues to collaborate as effectively as possible on projects. The entire layout encourages encounters and interactions, creating a fertile environment for new ideas. We have created a work environment that makes staff feel very much at home and that also inspires our partners and clients when they visit us, enabling them to become better acquainted with our company.’ 

The TripleAqua system is a unique heat pump that has never been applied before on this scale

The TripleAqua climate system is one of the main sustainable solutions applied in the renovated building. Installation consultant Gert Segers selected TripleAqua as the most suitable system for the building: ‘This unique heat pump can both heat and cool at the same time. The residual heat captured during a cooling cycle is added directly to the hot water circuit. This has a very positive effect: less energy is needed for the heating process. The system also has several internal buffers that temporarily store surplus heat or cold for later use. Another unique and sustainable feature is the use of the cooling agent propæne, an entirely natural substance which has a low Global Warming Potential rating of 3. This means that the gas does not make a negative contribution to the greenhouse effect. The TripleAqua system has never been applied before on this scale in the Netherlands, and I am proud that we have taken the lead.’

Besides the installation of a heat pump, other measures have been implemented to make the building more sustainable. René Nelissen, who was responsible for the quality of the work, provides an overview: ‘The first thing we did was to turn off the mains gas supply - for good. In addition, the building has been fully post-insulated, including the facade and the floor, and HR++ glazing has been installed in all windows. In order to reduce waste and materials usage, we decided not to remove the entire roof and install a new one, but to apply an additional insulating layer. For lighting, we now use only energy-efficient LED lamps. The presence of people in the conference rooms is detected based on carbon dioxide emissions: the lights are switched off when no-one is around. We have also installed 326 solar panels on the roof of the building.’

Jaap de Koning: ‘Besides these measures, we have taken many other steps to make the building future-proof, both to provide our colleagues with the best possible working environment and to ensure sustainability.’ René adds: ‘We have succeeded in obtaining an A+++ energy label following the renovation! I am enormously proud of that, especially because this is a more than 40-year-old office building that was previously awarded energy label D. And the great thing is that we are not just saving energy - a number of Witteveen+Bos employees contributed to this project, and we learned a great deal. We can now apply this knowledge when working for our clients.’