Westelijk Handelsterrein sets the tone

The Westelijk Handelsterrein in Rotterdam will be the Netherlands’ first completely ‘circular’ national monument. In 2020 this complex of imposing historic warehouses will be energy neutral, and all of its raw materials will be recycled.

There are only a few such buildings in the world, and none are listed monuments. Yet this is our objective, together with our partner ValstarSimonis. By 2020, our office in one of the former warehouses will have minimised its use of materials.

The pilot project is the result of a call by ValstarSimonis for circular building concepts, and is being implemented in collaboration with Carrier, Priva, Thermaflex, TVVL and Van Dorp Installaties. It involves not only recycling materials, but making the building itself flexible so that it, too, can be put to new uses.

There are other ways in which the warehouses can become completely circular. They can be self sufficient in energy by generating green electricity from restaurant waste. They can also use the glass roof and atrium walls to capture and store heat from the sun underground in summer for use in winter. This technology will make the Westelijk Handelsterrein Rotterdam the Netherlands’ first completely circular national monument.

This BLOCnote is a short excerpt from an article in Monumentaal, December 2016.