Recycled building materials
Royal FloraHolland had set high sustainability ambitions for the renovation and expansion of its old office, with the support and guidance of Royal HaskoningDHV. This led to the use of sustainable, recycled finishing materials such as sustainable wood, green roofs, water-saving sanitation and energy-efficient LED lighting controlled by daylight and human presence.
Rudolf Scholtens, Project Manager at Royal HaskoningDHV: "Before we started the finishing process we formulated sustainable starting points. Circular furniture is an easy win because of its fast turnover rate. We posed open questions to several furnishing companies. This sparked a lot of creativity and imagination, especially at Gispen. Gispen's ideas and approach stood out from the rest. It is also admirable that this furnisher did not refrain from reusing old FloraHolland chairs nor from adopting innovative applications."
Turning coffee grounds into fertiliser
Floradôme's newly constructed atrium forms the heart of the building and is the connecting link between the original structure and its extension. A lot of daylight is introduced to the office due to the surrounding windows. “This is one of many details showing that sustainability and circularity are in the core of this organisation”, according to Martijn Meijer, Gispen account manager. “I already noticed this when I read the call for tender. They weren't looking for furniture with a circular label; they were truly looking for a partner that could advise and serve them in the field of circular office design for many years to come. They expect this of all their suppliers, from catering to architects, everybody contributes to the circular ambitions. Even when you drink a cup of coffee here, the grounds are reused as fertiliser!”
It was up to Gispen to take a critical look at the 'old' office furniture. What is still usable? Which components can be reused? Martijn: "We refurbished the old conference chairs that the Board of Directors used to sit on so comfortably. Our partner Closing the looops reupholstered these chairs with the assistance of people who are distanced from the labour market. We also reused the frames of several second-hand desks and put GreenGridz tabletops on them, with the help of Triboo. These innovative tops are made from upcycled waste from the wood industry. A GreenGridz panel can be made from various upcycled waste flows of natural cellulose fibres. The CO2 emissions are therefore 60% lower when compared to an ordinary full-core chipboard top and, moreover, it is free of volatile organic compounds. The proof is the CARB2 certification; the highest standard for formaldehyde."
Circularity in optima forma
Gispen has circularly furnished the offices, meeting areas and conference rooms for the entire Floradôme. The 'sustainability' of the users themselves was also taken into account. Wendy Zandvliet: "We have numerous sit-stand desks and conference tables in order to facilitate varied work postures."
What do you think of the result?
Client Wendy: "The response has been very positive. We could not yet receive our employees, growers and buyers at the opening. So we had a virtual 3D tour made. Everyone loved it, but now that people are coming back to the office, the compliments are pouring in. Everybody is pleasantly surprised when it comes to the beautiful and dynamic workstations, the active conference areas and the many meeting places that invite one to organise informal work sessions or to meet and catch up as before. It really is a big step forward!"
Photography: Chris van Koeverden