The Educational Centre Noordwestcluster (OWC) consists of a new building (15,000 m2 GFA). The new educational centre will be provided with lab rooms, study landscapes, educational rooms, offices, and catering. The new construction consists of two parts: a “tower” with on top lab rooms and below study landscapes and general facilities. Here the tower also connects to the other new construction part, the “loop” that connects the new tower with the Buys Ballot building and the Minnaert building. The building is intended for students and teachers of the Geosciences, the Sciences, and Biomedical Sciences Faculties of the Medical Faculty.

Universiteit Utrecht Onderwijscentrum Noordwestcluster Valstar Simonis

Installations, Flexibility & Sustainability

The building will be equipped with a huge number of lab rooms that require many installations. For heat and cooling concrete archiving was used, charge and discharge of heat via the construction. This requires and integrated approach of the design. Everything is built-in in the floor package, which also contains floor grooves for the benefit of the power supply for the lab tables. Also because of the floor package a high net room height was realised, and there are always free sight lines.

Universiteit Utrecht Onderwijscentrum Noordwestcluster Valstar Simonis

All partners in this project collaborate integrally in a virtual three-dimensional building model. Working with BIM/Revit has huge advantages. The integration of the design and the engineering are better and more detailed. All layers of the building model are visible and that provides insight. Because of BIM, the design team could achieve innovative solutions, such as the integrated floor and the options to be able to change lab rooms in future. The BIM model was also used during the implementation in order to further elaborate the design to working drawings.

Sustainability is a spearhead in the design. The transparent façade is equipped with outside sun blinds in a well-thought over manner. Thus an optimum balance between daylight access and energy household is obtained. Together with other measures, such as solar panels and well-thought over use of materials, this (laboratory) building will finally be eligible for a BREEAM “very good” certification.