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Design Office in Enschede

Created for an office with a reputation for advanced industrial design, the present building in the Dutch town of Enschede had to incorporate modern solar technology and also have a distinctive appearance. A tall tract fitted with sound-insulating glazing shields the design studios to the rear of the development from the noise and disturbance of the adjoining railway tracks. At the same time, the structure serves as an advertising hoarding. Internally, a void between the two tracts links all adjoining levels. This allows immediate contact with the open studios, which can be flexibly used in a variety of ways. The visible steel structure and the exposed trapezoidal sheet-metal soffits – perforated for acoustic reasons – lend the building a technical note. The distinctive form of the development is also an essential feature of the energy concept. Without any additional use of energy, warm air rises into the upper part of the atrium and into the ventilation plant on the roof, where a heat-recovery process takes place. Microperforated textile ventilation tubes attached to the plant provide the design studios and the tall section of the building with fresh air. The many small outlets and the low flow rate ensure a draught-free exchange of air. In order to reduce the heating capacity as far as possible, the ventilation plant was designed to effect the entire air change. For psychological reasons, manually openable windows were also foreseen. In winter, fresh air is warmed by heat-exchange devices attached to the air-extract installation. In summer, the air intake can be cooled using the groundwater. With the aid of a heat pump, 24 tubes sunk into the groundwater provide thermal energy for the large-area, low-temperature, underfloor heating system. In summer, this is also used for cooling. Apart from the electricity needed to operate the pumps and compressors, no external energy is required in running the building. With one kilowatt of electrical energy, the plant can generate up to five kilowatts of thermal energy. In addition, waste heat from the mechanical services is fed back into the system.
This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 6/2005

Solar Architecture

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