Among the most innovative, noteworthy green designs are those which transform and upgrade ubiquitous existing structures, such as skyscrapers, by making them sustainable in composition and eco-friendly in function. The Zuidkas is a prime example of such a venture. Commissioned by the Government Buildings Agency in the Netherlands, Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter‘s design is centered around a rooftop-based ecosystem that stands to sustain and enrich the structure’s offices, homes, school, and restaurants in addition to a park, a biogas electrical plant and retail facilities.
Energy consumption is one of the key issues taken into consideration in the design. The residential units are designed to accomodate energy spikes during the morning and evenings, while the office spaces take advantage of steady rates through the middle of the day. The goal is to maintain energy efficiency throughout the building at different times during the day, providing the most efficient energy use while reducing waste.
The building will be encased in a glass shell that is designed to act as a buffer against elements of heat and cold. Additionally, plant waste from the greenhouse and toilet water from the building will be collected and sent to an on-site co-fermentation plant to be converted into biogas that will heat the tap water and parts of the structure.
In the Zuidkas, Paul de Ruiter proves that lofty, green aspirations can be more than ‘pie in the sky’ notions.
All images courtesy Architectenbureau de Paul Ruiter