How do you preserve in a smart, integrated and cost-effective way?

Is the realisation already dawning on many real estate companies? There is still a lot to do to achieve at least the C energy label in the coming year 2023, and even the A+ label is expected from 2030. As Arcade Bouw Consult bv, we had the opportunity to think together with the owner of the property at our new location in Oldenzaal.

The basics: condition assessment and user inventory.
The 1980s property with a slightly modern appearance cheats a little. The general maintenance condition of the building was assessed. A condition survey was carried out in accordance with NEN 2767. Several parts of the building were found to be in need of major maintenance. An inventory of the occupants’ experience was carried out and it was found that the air conditioning systems were no longer adequate. Especially in summer, the temperature can rise significantly, which affects work productivity.

An integrated approach and long-term maintenance planning.
There were regular maintenance tasks, user requirements and government sustainability requirements. By consulting the owner, we investigated how best to prepare the office building for the near future. It quickly became clear that an integrated approach would be most interesting: Maintenance, sustainability and quality of life improvement. Such multi-year planning provides support and ensures that sustainability measures can be taken at logical points in time. It also provides information on the maintenance investments needed in the short and long term.

Roadmap for the definition of sustainability measures
There are, of course, various ways to make the building more sustainable and improve the indoor environment. In our building, three steps were taken to find the optimal combination of measures.

Step 1: Detailed insight into the indoor climate and the energy performance.
First, a so-called temperature difference calculation was carried out. Such a calculation clearly shows how many hours a year the indoor climate is perceived as suboptimal. This calculation was carried out for different parts of the building. In this way, you get an insight at room level into what cooling capacity is required to improve the indoor climate.

Step 2: Mapping how heat/cool can be better optimised.
We looked at how the building envelope (façades, roof and floor) can be improved. If you keep the heat outside, you obviously need to cool less. It would be conceivable, for example, to immediately replace the roofing to be replaced with a better insulating variant. However, this decision has not yet been made. Instead of insulation, a PCM was chosen, which is wrapped in a climate ceiling system of HDPE panels.

Step 3: Optimisation of the technical installations in the building.
In a third step, we investigated how the technical installations could make an optimal contribution to the indoor climate. The fluorescent tube lighting was replaced by an LED lighting system, which significantly reduced the energy/heat consumption. This is a very interesting option. We also investigated solutions for cooling/heating the office units (it is a commercial building with several tenants) when the indoor temperature rises too high/low.

Which measures can be designed sustainably and is it even necessary to achieve at least label C or even label A+?

The options realised are:
1). All lighting was replaced with LED lighting, which is much more economical and hardly emits any heat. Sensors ensure that the lighting is automatically switched off when no one is in the room in question.
2). Manually operated external blinds are retained and slats on the inside form a kind of heat shield/buffer. This keeps the summer heat of the sun out better and requires less cooling.
3). All lightweight MS partitions were removed, creating the possibility of a climate-controlled ceiling with ceiling grid.
4). Existing technical systems were maintained and overhauled.
The boiler has openherm, which can communicate with a central system. The existing radiators were serviced and fitted with thermostatic valves, which now serve as “additional heating” on the façade. Currently, the rooms are tested, tuned and optimised throughout the year in terms of cold, heat, humidity and/or draughts.
5). A new air handling unit with new ventilation ducts was installed throughout the building, blowing in air from the climate ceiling, which is cooled or heated by coupled elements lying on the metal plate of the climate ceiling and determining the room temperature in the offices. The ventilation unit and the heat pump have Modbus, which can communicate with a central system.

Unused options are:
1). If still required, another automatic building management system can be installed that also transmits the outside air.
2). The floor, façade and roof are not yet optimally insulated, but the entire building is already A+.
3). The insulation of the roof could be increased to an average Rc value of 8 m2K/W, which would keep out more heat/cold radiation from outside.
4). Renewal of the roofing and installation of solar panels, which together could generate a large part of the energy used in the office.

What will these sustainability measures achieve?
All work on our office building is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022. The energy consumption of the entire office building could be significantly reduced and a pleasant indoor climate achieved in all seasons. Good for the real estate investor and we have already taken the step towards the A energy label. We are ready for the obligations of 2030! With the new infill, we also meet class B of the Healthy Offices 2021 requirements programme.

As Arcade Bouw Consult bv, we have the practical experience and it is amazing that a number of cost-increasing measures that we still have in option will most likely never be implemented. Thanks to the expertise and skilful use of our knowledge, this could be realised and we were surprised by some of the results ourselves!

Special thanks to Orange Climate with their intelligent support / solution of the PCM / HDPE panel climate ceiling
See also the Cradle to Cradle certification for PCM packaged in HDPE sheet.