Economy

“I built the most sustainable office building in Europe”

It was the seventh time that he had built his own building. “By now I knew how not to do it and what could go wrong.” But this time he set himself a very ambitious goal: to build a commercial property with an energy consumption of less than 40 kWh / m2 per year. To be clear: when Cor van de Ven of Vencomatic Group set this goal, the most sustainable building in Europe was in Germany with a consumption of 80 kWh / m2.

Goal achieved

But Van de Ven achieved his goal with flying colors. His current business premises in Eersel, Brabant, have an energy consumption of only 33 kWh / m2. He cannot say with certainty whether the building is still the most sustainable in Europe, eight years after its opening. “No one has yet reported who is below this in terms of energy consumption, so I challenge everyone to do that!”, Says Van de Ven.

Stubborn

With Vencomatic Group he is involved in innovative systems for the poultry sector and here too he is always looking for the most sustainable solutions. This knowledge certainly helped him in the construction of this building, but Van de Ven says he managed to do it mainly by being stubborn and not making any concessions: “Architects are of course mainly focused on aesthetics, that is what they believe in. be settled. This was less important to me, so when the architect said that something was not possible, I didn’t just accept it. ”

Build passively

Van de Ven built the building according to the Passive Building principle. The main features of this are very good insulation and gap sealing, high quality indoor air due to the low infiltration of outdoor air and balanced ventilation and a negligible low heat requirement that ensures extremely low energy consumption. Van de Ven: “When we got through the blower test measured how airtight our building is, the men who conducted the test did not know what they saw. They had never seen such an airtight building before. ”

Heat exchanger

In other words, a negligible low heat requirement. How is that exactly? In the case of this building, the temperature is regulated by means of a heat exchanger. This system heats the incoming air with the air that is discharged outside. By far the largest part of that heat is recovered without mixing the two air streams. In this way, the heat exchanger provides heating in winter and cooling in summer and a conventional heating system is not required. Van de Ven: “Most exchangers have a return of 50%, at our building the return is almost twice as high: 90%.”

Build smart

With regard to the construction process, Van de Ven was inspired by Jos Lichtenberg, the inventor of the Slimbouwen concept. This concept is about the logical division of the various disciplines (hull, facades and roofs, installations and finishing). In addition, there is no brickwork or plaster work, but a wall and floor system that is easy to open, so that the installer only has to visit once or twice. In traditional construction this is needed much more often, which often results in delays. “What particularly appeals to me in this concept is the flexibility, the use of fewer materials and the time saved because the different parties do not have to constantly wait for each other,” says Van de Ven.

“Don’t make concessions”

All in all, an achievement to be proud of, and Van de Ven is too. He is in good shape for the time being and can still move forward in this building, but he would happily do it again. His tip for other entrepreneurs? “Never just make concessions and” can’t “doesn’t exist!”

For the RTL Z program ‘Humberto Ondernemen’, we visited Van de Ven in his own building, watch the video here:

Curious about how you can make your company more sustainable? Then do the here EnergieFitScan from Essent.

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