Flexible offices (co-working spaces), play an important role in reducing the carbon footprint of the total utility and office sector. After all, the same facilities (meeting rooms, lunch areas, printers) are used by more people, making material and energy use much more sustainable. By also making these buildings more sustainable, the impact on CO2 reduction can be even greater. And the Dutch company Microlab and the Flemish company Officenter Hasselt know this like no other. In their CR2SE project, they are building a modular Smart Sustainable Building system.
Smart Buildings can make a major contribution to reducing thecarbon footprint of buildings. A smart building 'thinks' along with the user based on data and automatically adjusts its building systems (heating, ventilation, lighting etc.) and building services (e.g. cleaning or maintenance) based on actual use. This makes for a very efficient building, so that 10 to 20%CO2 reduction can be achieved compared to normal buildings.
A solution for existing property
The share of smart buildings is growing, but this concerns almost exclusively newly built or recently renovated buildings. They are fitted with high-tech, customised Smart Building concepts during construction and renovation. Many existing buildings have other, outdated building systems (different type of heating, older ventilation system, etc.), which makes new high-tech and smart building concepts unusable here. Consequently, the application of Smart Building technology in the built environment lags behind.
Modular and turnkey system speeds up transition
Microlab from Eindhoven and Officenter Hasselt are both major players in flexible office leasing and have a lot of knowledge and experience in the office and utility building sector. As building operators, they know what building owners come up against when it comes to sustainability. Together, they want to develop a turnkey and modular Smart Sustainable Building system for retrofit in existing (office) buildings.
Microlab's technical knowledge of Internet-of-Things technologies is combined with Officenter Hasselt's experience of diversity in buildings and systems. By combining these expertises, a modular system can be developed that is easy to implement at other locations. In this way, existing (office) real estate can be converted into 'intelligent' real estate at an accelerated pace. All building systems and services are then used very efficiently, which makes a major contribution to making the built environment more sustainable.
Own buildings as testing grounds
The Microlab building is an example of an existing building with outdated systems and is therefore the ideal testing ground to start experimenting. Luuk Visser (Microlab): "By equipping one floor here with an advanced IT infrastructure, we will use extensive data collection and analysis to look for efficient and profitable (= cost-saving) controls. These will then be realised and tested through accurate software development, after which the same controls will be copied to Officenter Hasselt (a similar building to Microlab) and validated there." In this way, the project partners arrive at a modular, sustainable solution that can be easily rolled out to other buildings.
After completion of the CR2SE project, the project partners intend to roll out the developed Smart Building concept to similar flexible buildings with shared facilities. It is expected that between 80,000 and 160,000 m2 of building area can be made sustainable in the first 2 years after completion of the project, resulting in an annual CO2 reduction of 500 to 1,000 tonnes (between 66 and 133 households).
- Atelier Group BV
- Microlab (Province of Noord-Brabant)
- Officenter Hasselt (Province of Limburg (BE)
- Modular smart-building retrofit system
- Annual savings of 500 to 1000 tonnes of CO2 (first 2 years after project completion)