The Netherlands is way ahead of most countries when it comes to sustainability. It's home to the first solar bike road, some of the most energy-efficient global brands, and now the Scandinavian nation also lays claim to the world's most sustainable office building, according to Engineering and Technology Magazine.
Located in the town of Haelen, the building received a near-perfect rating of 99.94 percent when assessed by the Building Research Establishment Assessment Methodology (BREAAM) certification scheme. The test looks at various areas—including carbon emission reduction, adaptation to climate change, and ecological value—and is considered by experts to be the best method for evaluating a structure's sustainability.
The building looks unremarkable from the outside, but it's far from ordinary. Sunlight infiltration, air quality, and indoor lighting are all controlled to maximize employee health. The structure is built from wood, the construction material with the lowest CO2 impact, and a wall of living plants that flourishes beneath a skylight. The heating, lighting, computers, and air-conditioning all run on solar power, and the building generates 50 percent more energy than it uses. Any excess energy is channeled to the company's factory.
The building will house up to 50 employees of the company Geelen Counterflow, which manufactures dryers and coolers. Environmental efficiency is a major part of the business's mission: According to Engineering and Technology Magazine, the company's managing director Sander Geelen said that the office, "is another step on our journey to phase out fossil fuels. The next step is to develop a new generation of dryers that will use renewable energy only."
Header/banner images via Twitter.