Erasmus University Rotterdam is realising one of the most sustainable educational buildings in the Netherlands. A building that is fully in line with the ambitions and vision of the Erasmus University in the field of sustainability and circularity. Last summer the design was qualified with a BREEAM Outstanding certificate. This makes the new multipurpose educational building (MFOII) the second most sustainable educational building in the Netherlands in terms of sustainable building performance and it belongs to the top 5 of the most sustainable newly built educational buildings in the Netherlands.
This week, the Woudestein campus celebrated the completion of the construction phase and the start of the finishing phase. This is the final phase of the new building before students and staff will soon be able to use this special new educational building. Slowly but surely, the special interior is unfolding, based on the design principles of biophilic design by Paul de Ruiter Architects; a way of designing in which the connection with nature is increased, thus improving the well-being of the users.
“The choice for biophilic design is a conscious choice within the framework of Erasmus University's sustainability ambitions. As a university, we want to create the right environment in which scientists and students can get the best out of themselves. By bringing nature indoors, we actively contribute to the well-being and health of our students and teachers.”
Ellen van Schoten, vice president Executive Board
Connection to nature
A pleasant and comfortable indoor environment influences how we experience a building. Connecting buildings to nature improves productivity, promotes learning and reduces stress. The abundance of daylight, the plants and the use of natural and warm materials in this new education building create a real 'outdoor' feeling. "When you enter the atrium you literally experience nature," says architect Paul de Ruiter. "The abundance of daylight streams in from all sides. The environment with plants not only gives a nice feeling, it also ensures pleasant acoustics. In addition, the large wooden staircase in the atrium invites people to take the stairs more often, which encourages exercise. A special feature is the construction with trees, which, in combination with the floating platforms and wooden stairs, gives you the feeling of studying in a tree house.
Lots of fresh air thanks to revolutionary new ventilation system
An innovative and sustainable ventilation system that has never before been used in an educational building has been chosen. This fits in perfectly with Erasmus University Rotterdam's major sustainability ambitions and the reduction of its CO2 footprint. To this end, BAM Bouw en Techniek, together with a number of consultants, further developed the Earth, Wind & Fire concept into the 'powered by nature' system, which requires far less energy than traditional ventilation systems. The natural forces of sun and wind provide the energy. This makes it possible to get a lot of fresh air into the building without using a lot of fossil energy. A revolution in sustainable ventilation systems.
Progress of the new building
The construction of the new education building is progressing steadily. BAM Bouw en techniek, in collaboration with Paul de Ruiter Architects, abcnova and other advisors, has now started the finishing work. The multifunctional education building is expected to be completed in July and taken into use in the 2022-2023 academic year.