2015 has been a big year for sustainable architecture, bringing endless innovation to the table. It’s a field which is expanding more and more as designers explore ways to respond to environmental needs. Bolidt has taken great pride in being a part in some of these projects. From boats to public halls, the boundaries of what is possible are being tested across the board.
Although production halls may not typically be appealing to architects, Tesla Motors in Tilburg is a prime example of sustainable functionality at its best. Built under the supervision of Heembouw, the facility serves as Tesla’s European headquarters for service and parts, collision repair and the final assembly and distribution point for Model S vehicles sold over Europe, as well as a testing track for the vehicles! Whilst doing all this, its energy costs are incredibly low, making it one of the most sustainable factories in Europe. Since opening, Tesla’s production efficiency has gone up to 450 cars per week.
DSM is a global science based company which works with health, nutrition and materials. The company aims to connect its competences with both life and material sciences to drive economic, environmental and social advances. Thus, it’s only right that DSM’s R&D center reflects this synergy of goals and abilities. Under its roof are three departments; the lab, the offices and the testing areas. These departments come together in an extremely sustainable (and very colourful) manner, achieving a BREEAM certificate of ‘Very Good’. The functionality of this place largely replicates the ethos of DSM in its unique combination of purpose and ideals.
The MS Helgoland is a ship that takes sustainability to the seas. It’s a passenger ferry fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Pushing the limits of sustainable design, in comparison with conventional diesel fuelled ships, it produces 20 per cent less CO2, 90 per cent less NOx and nearly no SOx and particulates. With use of Wärtsilä's Cold Recovery System, the ship makes use of latent heat of LNG for the air conditioning system, cutting down electricity usage consumed in cooling compressors. With massive reductions in operational costs, as well as emissions, this ship sets the standard for sustainability in the seas.
Also exhibiting the potential of sustainable design is City Hall Almelo. Aesthetically this structure pleases the eye. Sitting on a waterfront, it offers panoramic views of the green surroundings. Accommodating 100 cars is a parking deck on the roof of the structure, which, to compliment its environment, is also a green roof. The building is designed in such a way that protects the interior from the sun, aiding temperature control and thereby lowering energy consumption.
The city hall sets the bar high for sustainable public buildings, earning a BREEAM-NL Excellent certificate.
2015 has seen some very progressive projects blossom around the globe, it seems that concepts and ideas of sustainable design are growing exponentially, giving us reasons to increasingly look to the future with excitement and curiosity.
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