The design of the municipal offices in Venlo was inspired by the ‘cradle to cradle’ principle. The result is a healthy working environment, combined with sustainable innovation. All the raw materials and parts used have a ‘passport’, detailing their production and origin. The building is therefore in essence a huge raw-materials databank. When a service or product reaches the end of its useful life, these materials can easily be retrieved for high-grade reuse.
The building’s most striking feature is its ‘green’ northern façade. More than 100 different plants in the façade contribute to biodiversity and help to create a clean and healthy environment. Covering 2,000m², it is the largest ‘living’ façade in the world. It absorbs 30% of the sulphur and nitrogen oxides from the air, offsetting the emissions of particulate matter generated by 3,000m2 of motorway.
The greenhouse on the top three floors of the tower is also remarkable. The heat it absorbs provides natural heating for the building. Combined with the green façade, the solar chimney on the roof, and heat storage in the soil, it provides energy-efficient climate control. Inside the greenhouse, a spectacular central wooden staircase encourages exercise, contributing to the health of employees and visitors.