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The main office building of the WWF in the Netherlands

This WWF main office building by RAU architects was completed in 2006. It is located in Zeist, the Netherlands.

 

RAU transformed a former 1950’s agricultural laboratory into the first CO2-neutral and self-sufficient office in the Netherlands. By breaking through the rigidity of the existing structure and adding an organic blob at the centre, the rejuvenated building got a friendly and inviting appearance. Natural materials have replaced bare concrete; what used to be grey and confronting is now in harmony with the surrounding nature reserve. RAU’s intervention did not only give the building a new face, but fundamentally changed the user experience. Natural ventilation and the use of natural materials offer a balanced and healthy indoor environment.

 

The energy performance of the building is very good; the building is CO2-neutral, it is (almost entirely) self-sufficient and achieves an A++ rating at the EPBD energy label by the European Union. Triple glazing and wooden lamellas in front of the large windows ensure efficient isolation and heat resistance. Solar cells on the roof generate electrical energy and solar thermal collectors are used for heating up water. Even the body heat of the building’s users is captured and re-used. Cool ground water is used for cooling the building before flushing toilets. The surplus of warmth in the summer is stored in a water reservoir in the ground and used for heating the building during winter. Likewise, cooling energy is stored underground during winter months and is used for cooling in summer.

 

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Taken on January 13, 2012