sustainable at all levels

I/O-building Faculty of Education

Solar City Nijmegen has been enriched with the addition of a unique and sustainable building. The I/O building, which became the new home of the Faculty of Education of HAN University of Applied Sciences (HAN), is the most sustainable academic building in the Netherlands. The outward appearance of the building is determined by sustainability aspects, which also respect adjacent buildings.

Photography: Ben Vulkers

Function:
Educational building for students and staff of the Institute for Teacher and School, PABO, Educational Science and parking garage

Client:
HAN University of Applied Sciences

Location:
NIjmegen

An excellent score on the Milieu-Index Gebouw (MIG: 283), an A +++ energy label and a favorable Energy Performance Coefficient (EPC: 0.219) bear witness to this. The score is based solely on what is generated in and on the building itself. The external appearance is determined from the sustainability aspects and with respect for the surrounding buildings.

“We want the superlative when it comes to sustainability. The building will become the most sustainable educational building in the Netherlands, where the design of LIAG is entirely in line with the sustainable ambitions of HAN ”.
Ron Bormans • former chairman of the Executive Board of the Hogeschool Arnhem and Nijmegen

Sustainability is integrated at all levels and addresses environmental parameters such as water consumption, use of materials, air quality, acoustics, visual comfort and lighting. The result is an energy-efficient building that meets most of its own energy needs. A thermal energy storage system and solar panels on the roof actually deliver energy gains below the bottom line. This enables other buildings on the HAN campus to save on their energy bills.

Educational comfort

The new building combines sustainability with educational comfort. The interior is dominated by natural materials, an abundance of daylight and subdued colours. This gives the building an open and well organised feel. A spacious atrium provides light and space and encourages users to interact. PV panels integrated in the glass roof of the atrium help shade out the sun. Opportunities for encounter are concentrated on the ground floor, which houses a superb study and resource centre, the lobby and a study café. The different floors are connected by aerial walkways, which connect the upper floors.

''Inside, the natural materials dominate and you will encounter a lot of daylight and peaceful colors. This has created an open and well-arranged building. "
Thomas Bögl

A new microclimate 

The floors of the building intersect, with each floor being projected or recessed. The resulting roof terraces create space for extra greenery on and around the building. The staggered construction also ensures that homes adjacent to the north side of the building continue to receive the same influx of sunlight and daylight. LIAG believes that for construction to be sustainable, a building must create more biodiversity than it uses. Planting greenery in, around and on the building creates a new microclimate which serves as a new habitat for local flora and fauna.

“It is a large building where you do not feel small. This is due to the many small-scale meeting places that exist. The pleasant climate and good acoustics also make you feel very comfortable here. "
HAN employee Justine van den Berg

The new I/O building is the capstone and most successful example of sustainability on the HAN campus in Nijmegen. Besides the fact that it is the most sustainable academic building in the Netherlands, the new I/O building is, first and foremost, a healthy building that is a pleasure to use.

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