A building that will improve urban air quality

Our client’s challenge

The Netherlands is the most densely populated country in the European Union. So, urbanization is an enormous challenge for Dutch cities, like Utrecht. Located in the center of the country, Utrecht has the country’s busiest train station. Our client G&S Vastgoed (G&S Real Estate) wanted to construct a building, on a lot right next to the train station, but they also wanted this structure to be a net positive for the city in terms of air quality, climate change and mobility. G&S Vastgoed turned to Arcadis to help with this challenge.

The solution

Working together with the client and Stefano Boeri Architetti, we contributed to the design of two towers that will set a new standard in Utrecht for sustainable buildings: Wonderwoods. Wonderwoods is a climate-adaptive, energy efficient building, which will be completed in 2022. Arcadis designed the connecting green roof between the two towers, known as the vertical forests. The façade of the towers is partially composed of reused materials and will boast 360 trees and 9,640 bushes and shrubs, which will help clean air in the city. Waste collection at the building will be circular (collective collection and separation) and the building is energy and water efficient. The green rooftops and façade will collect and store rainwater. The overall real estate concept includes a shared mobility concept with full electric vehicles, bikes and public transport services.

The impact

Once built, the Wonderwoods Building will be nearly energy neutral. The greenery on the building’s façade will literally clean the city air. The structure will absorb 5.4 tons of CO2 and 15,000 tons of particulate matter. In the process, the building will also generate 41.4 tons of oxygen per year.

Improving quality of life

The complex will provide offices, healthy catering, fitness and yoga-facilities, small-scale boutiques, learning facilities and storage for bikes and shared vehicles within the building. These facilities will benefit citizens and visitors to Utrecht, while the building itself will contribute to a healthier local environment, by enhancing air quality, producing less waste, using less energy and improving the water resilience of an area of the city.

Contact us

Grant Sprick

Global Sustainability Director +31 (0)6 2949 1897 Ask me a question
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