and green lungs
Regional Office Enexis, Zwolle
With the development and realization of three new regional offices in Zwolle, Venlo and Maastricht, 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 Zwolle has been awarded the energy-neutral BREEAM Excellent design certification with the highest score of all three offices.
Enexis’ sustainable regional office in Zwolle stands in the middle of other Enexis buildings on the transmission system operator’s own grounds. The main access to the area is formed by a central road. Where this road crosses a side-street, the regional office is obviously prominent as an urban element. On this side the building has an accent in height, as a reaction to the oppositely situated supra-regional office. Due to an angular rotation in the facade, the building element subsequently links up with the side-street.
A garden, situated on this side of the building, was created around the existing large trees. In line with the garden, lies a green lung that supplies light, air and space to the office building. At the back, the building turns towards the water following an overhang. The working accommodation has been placed below the office building, and due to the use of profiled sheet metal cladding, this part is subtly interwoven with the office segment.
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.