In 2015 the Energy Academy Europe will be realised on the Zernike campus in Groningen: a top-notch institute in which education, science and the business sector collaborate in research and innovation in the field of energy. This institute will be the place where students, researchers and entrepreneurs, both national and international, meet and inspire one another to make the international energy supply chain more sustainable and suitable for the next generations.
The energy academy will be accommodated in a building that is a perfect example of sustainability and will be leading in this field. The building will not only be very energy efficient, but will also produce energy. A complete set of sustainability measures is integrated in the design. Therefore, the building gets the BREEAM Outstanding label; the only educational building in the Netherlands with a score this high.
The design has a low-tech approach in which the abundant natural sources, like earth, water, air and sunlight will be optimally used. The earth will be used to heat and cool air and water; rain water will be used to flush the toilets. The natural ventilation is driven by an innovative solar chimney, in the ridge of the roof. A difference in air pressure is a result of the heat of the sun and fresh air is drawn into the building. Sunlight is used optimally for lightning and for producing energy. The few installations in the building for heating, ventilation and lightning will only be used as a backup when the natural sources are not sufficient. To let the building produce sustainable energy, the facades and roof are fully used to collect solar energy. By placing the solar panels optimally oriented in a three-dimensional grid on the roof, there is a maximum gain of daylight while collecting energy. Maximal, sustainable energy harvest and optimal use of daylight: a combination that has never been shown before.
The energy academy focuses on the cross-fertilization between the business community and institutes of knowledge. In this way, fundamental, applied and practical research is combined with education. Entrepreneurs, researchers, students and teachers come together to work on producing energy as clean and efficient as possible and on applying this sustainable energy in the existing energy infrastructures.
To stimulate the exchange of knowledge, the building is equipped to encourage people to meet and collaborate
The building consists of two parts. At the northern part, the research area with labs and offices is positioned; at the southern part the institutes, the educational area and the winter garden are placed. In between these two parts an atrium will function as the heart of the building, where people from all of kinds of sectors meet. The winter garden is also a place that stimulates meeting; it is a public park, but also a hang out and workplace for students and entrepreneurs.
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We are proud of the fact that our clients identify themselves with our architecture and working methods. Our portfolio consists of exciting projects: from small redesigns to complex new buildings and complete master plans. We are known for designing high standard environments for education and research and for transforming monuments; for our involved collaboration and our self-evident use of sustainability measures in our designs and for our extensive experience with an integral collaboration process.