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The Netherlands Institute of Ecology: Raising the Bar with Cradle-to-Cradle Design

The Netherlands Institute of Ecology: Raising the Bar with Cradle-to-Cradle Design | Yan's Earth | Scoop.it

The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) is a truly innovative green laboratory.

 

From NIOO director Louise Vet: ”Ecologists... do high-level research on genomes and biodiversity, and I wanted the building to express this.” Thus, she chose Claus en Kaan Architecten, a Dutch architectural practice with a track record in laboratory design and challenged the architects to design a building that embodied cradle-to-cradle principles.

 

Claua en Kaan rose to the challenge with a variety of sustainable strategies. The linear building, 335 feet by 100 feet, has west-facing, sealed laboratories that manage heat gain via a deep brise-soleil. Windows on the east side are operable, allowing daylight and views of the surrounding environment, populated with native plants.

Vertical light-wells span two floors; a core of support labs not requiring daylight occupies the center of the building. The building’s columns were spaced in such a way as to allow for flexibility in future renovation, which is likely to prove a key factor in its longevity, and a green roof shares space with a roof deck.

Heating and cooling is handled via underground storage, making use of deep vertical pipes that store heat from solar arrays and the building at 984 feet below ground. A radiant, in-floor system circulates the warmed water through the concrete floors.

Additionally, the building treats all of its own greywater on site, and releases it into the surrounding landscape.


The architects here are to be commended on this design, as green laboratories are notoriously hard to design. By embodying cradle-to-cradle principles — as well as tailored green build strategies — the Netherlands Institute of Ecology raises the bar.


Via Lauren Moss
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Stripe House: A beautiful, efficient live/work townhouse in the Netherlands

Stripe House: A beautiful, efficient live/work townhouse in the Netherlands | Yan's Earth | Scoop.it

The Stripe House is an energy efficient and naturally daylit home in Leiden, The Netherlands and was designed by local firm, GAAGA. Encased in a handmade plaster facade and brightly daylit from a host of windows, the compact home doubles as an office and is very energy efficient by design.

 

Sited on a corner lot near a park, the home does its best to make the best of the compact plot. Three stories tall, the home creates space with vertical floor area, but still retains a small garden space from which to enjoy the exterior and the neighborhood, also providing a soft transition from public to private space as well as distance from the neighboring houses.

The ground floor is used as an office, while the first and second floors are for the family. The first floor living space has an open living/kitchen floor plan, and two bedrooms and a bath are located on the top floor. A void between the living space and the bedrooms creates a connection via operable shutters.

Large windows on the the three open sides of the home are oriented towards interesting views and fill the bright white interior with natural daylight. The exterior is very tactile with a beautiful handcrafted plaster facade created with linear molds.

Beyond daylighting, the Stripe house is also a very sustainable house that scores well in several energy performance and environmental index calculations and labels- making it an efficient and beautiful example of innovative green design.

 


Via Lauren Moss
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