An educational building provided with educational facilities, laboratories (of various sorts, which resulted in complex installations), library, offices, and central facilities for the University of Amsterdam. The two semi-closed inside courts with in between the entrance hall, constitute a public space. The construction parts A, B, and D, which mainly offer room for laboratories, each have their own identity.

Installations, Flexibility & Sustainability

The building is connected to the central energy supply consisting of an aquifer system (heat and cold storage) and heat pumps, added with cooling machines and central heating boilers for the peak load and reliability.
During the Preliminary Draft and the Final Draft of the construction project for new construction of FNWI in Amsterdam, the installations costs budget was within the estimate accuracy of the available budget. After completion of the Final Draft, a savings round initiated by the client took place, resulting in a lower new construction volume and a lower specific budget.

The adjusted points of departure resulted in a new special design and installation costs. In addition, some work was outsourced based on a new installation Voorontwerp+ (Preliminary Draft). The outsourcing was based on a new division of roles, whereby the installer will further elaborate the design by himself in a “construction team environment”.
Upon completion of the specifications phase/work preparation, the task-setting budget was adjusted to 31 million Euros. The new greenhouse complex of the FNWI in the Science Park Amsterdam (part of the project) was taken into operation by the beginning of 2006.


In the public and office rooms, a modern and open setup of the building was pursued. Because of this, concrete-core activation which is combined with an integrated “cable box” along the façade was chosen for, in which the cabling and the connection points (electricity and data) are included. The workplaces in the central area are accessible from the “open ceiling” via a sighting installation. For the benefit of the open structures of a sprinkler installation that was poured into the offices were used as well. In the laboratories, a traditional lowered ceiling was chosen for. This was necessary in order to integrate the large air charge (with air-cooling) and the many installations without areas that are difficult to clean would occur.

For the physical laboratories it was considered to remove the lowered ceilings, since the argument of pollution is less relevant here. The installation design was based on a very energy-saving concept. For instance, a low temperature heating, increased temperature cooling and heat recollection at all air treatment systems as well as the lab cabinets were concerned.
Inside the building, a high level of flexibility was projected; it must be possible to modify and/or replace the functionalities within the building (e.g. mutual laboratories, but also between laboratories and offices). For this reason, an extra investment was made in the installation infrastructure up to room level.


Integrated lab wall
In order to support the flexible installation setup, a clear division was made between the construction-bound installations (bearer) and the users’ installation (built-in). This went so far that also the lab setup (furniture, media, and other lab facilities) was integrated as a module with the walls between the laboratories. At a fixed distance of 1.5 metres, modification and expansion are easily possible without any hacking.

For the buildings on the premises (Science Park Amsterdam) applies that the EPC value lies 25% below the requirements from the year 2001. The EPC of the building of the FNWI amounts to around 73% of the requirement (2004).

Furthermore the building should comply with an ECO quantum that is 20% below the environmental performance of a reference building with regard to water, energy, materials, and waste. Hereto various integrated solutions were implemented.
Apart from a very good building skin, various energy-limiting varieties were used, such as large transparent façade elements (daylight), daylight-regulated lighting fixtures, and debit regulation for air treatment (demand-directed ventilation). The high level of flexibility contributes to a long life-span. For the office part, concrete core activation was used. The building is connected to the central energy supply, among other things making use of the existing aquifer system with heat and cold storage, heat pumps, added with cooling machines and central heating boilers for the peak load and reliability.

Building part D is one of the three lab buildings. The building part houses various laboratories such as chemical, biological, and physical (strict vibration requirements).