The nominations were recently announced for the CTBUH 2019 Awards. One of the nominated buildings is the new European Patent Office (EPO) in Rijswijk in the Best Tall Buildings 100-199 metres category. As an MEP design, transport and facade maintenance consultant, Deerns was involved in the realisation of this unique building.
The new building has two main structures: New Main, the main building, and New Hinge, a lower section housing with, among other things, a restaurant and an atrium with an interior garden. The office has 27 floors and a surface area of 85,000 m2. According to architect Diederik Dam, it is the tallest and thinnest construction in steel and glass in Europe. The building has a double-skin glass facade with an intermediate cavity of 8 metres wide. The exterior facade keeps out the wind and the rain and creates an interior garden that provides natural ventilation.
High demands on lift capacity
The client set high demands on the quality of traffic handling (short waiting times), without the use of destination control. Furthermore, there is a high floor occupancy and peak formation in the traffic flows. The length of the narrow high-rise (New Main) enabled the realisation of 10 fast high-rise lifts divided over two separate lift cores. In addition, the entrance area includes four plinth lifts that provide access to the restaurant and meeting centre in the lower part of the building. A further three goods lifts and three disabled lifts have been installed in the plinth to create the necessary connection to the existing building areas. The combination of the separate lift groups ensures that the waiting time requirement is met, even during peak hours.
Facade maintenance is a challenge in a building with all-glass facades, also because part of the outermost facade has horizontal glass blinds that require manual cleaning. The external facades can be reached using a mobile crane system from the highest roof. On the inside of the south facade (double facade) a glass washing system has been installed every three floors. A solution also had to be devised for the facade with the glass blinds because the sharp edges of the blinds could potentially cause injury to the arms of the person cleaning them. To prevent that from happening, the support profiles of the glass blinds were rounded off, which has considerably reduced the risk of injury. The client set high demands on how often the building needs to be cleaned. The wind load and the number of days this allows work to be carried out on a building of that size are a limiting factor. Following a study, it appears that the outer facades need to be cleaned four times a year.
For further information, please contact Jos van Velzen (facade maintenance) or Jochem Wit (transport).
About the CTBUH Awards
The CTBUH Annual Awards program recognizes projects and individuals that have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and that achieve sustainability at the highest and broadest level. The objective is to deliver a comprehensive and sophisticated view of these important buildings, spaces, and technologies, while advocating for improvements in every aspect of their performance, especially those that have the greatest effect on the people who use them each day. This means that the buildings highlighted are often not the tallest in a given year, but represent the best qualities and innovations in the typology.
The winners will be announced in April 2019 during the Tall + Urban Innovation Conference in China.