The municipal council’s decision in 2015 to opt for sustainable new build instead of renovating the old Dr. Anton Philipszaal and the Lucent Danstheater, has had some remarkable requirements – one of them being that the first sustainably built arts complex in the Netherlands will be located in The Hague. The goal is to achieve a BREEAM-NL Excellent rating, an important sustainability certificate – read more about it here.
What is BREEAM-NL?
If Amare obtains the BREEAM-NL Excellent sustainability certificate, it will be the first Dutch performing arts centre to have done so. BREEAM-NL is a method to assess the sustainability of houses, offices and other real estate, which originated in the United Kingdom and has been adapted to fit Dutch and European law. It comprises nine categories of criteria that must be satisfied during construction: management, health, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, land use and ecology, and pollution. These criteria inform the entirety of the building process – meaning that the wish to obtain this important certificate has influenced the construction from the very start. And it also applies for the business operations now and in the future.
Cooperating for the certificate
All parties involved in the construction are cooperating in order to obtain the “Excellent” rating once the building is complete. These parties are the City of The Hague as the client, construction company Cadanz, and Zuiderstrandtheater (officially: Stichting Dans- en Muziekcentrum) as the end user. Two employees at Cadanz have been assigned the responsibility to monitor the certification requirements throughout the construction process. There are two certificates to obtain: one for the building’s design and one for its completion. Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC), which manages BREEAM-NL, carries out the relevant inspections.
Solar panels and nest boxes
So what exactly will we be seeing of this sustainable construction? A lot, actually. Among other things, the builders are using recycled concrete, the roof will have four thousand square meters of solar panels, and the building’s climate system will be regulated using geothermal energy.
With a surface area of about eight football fields, Amare is a large and complex building. The following sustainable features were incorporated into the design:
- 4000 m2 of solar panels to generate energy
- Climate control using geothermal energy
- LED lighting throughout the building
- Rainwater-flushed toilets
- Excess rainwater is infiltrated into the soil
- 50 nesting boxes for various species of birds incorporated in the facade
- 28 built-in bat boxes
No CO2 emissions
The certification also assesses the construction process itself with regard to sustainability – energy and water use, for example. The construction company is using sustainable wind energy for its building activities, so there are no CO2 emissions from the building site. Also, 90% of the construction waste is collected and removed separately.
After its opening, Amare will have to continue to pursue sustainability and social responsibility as much as possible. The complex is easily accessible by public transport and bicycle. Catering will use plant-based, organic, local products. The staff will reflect the composition of The Hague’s population, with many employees being new entrants to the job market. And there will be other certificates to obtain, such as the Green Key Gold certificate for convention venues – although that’s something to look at when the time is ripe.