Louwman Rotterdam Zuid, The Netherlands

The first automotive building in Europe to achieve BREEAM Outstanding design certification.

Project Details

  • Scheme & Version: BREEAM-NL Nieuwbouw en Renovatie Ontwerpfase 2014 v2
  • Certification Stage: Design Stage
  • Rating: Outstanding
  • Overall Score: 91.77%

Project Team

  • Developer / Client: Homel Onroerend Goed B.V. / Louwman Group
  • Architect: Jacobs Architekten B.V.
  • Building Services: Lomans Capelle B.V.
  • Constructor: Giesbers Rotterdam B.V.
  • Assessor Company: C2N
  • Building Management: Louwman Real Estate
  • BREEAM Expert: Louwman Real Estate
  • Sustainability Consultant: De Groene Jongens
  • Tenant: Louwman Dealer Group

About the Building

Louwman Rotterdam-Zuid in Ridderkerk, which is centrally located in the Rotterdam region, has been constructed in order to centralize the dealer activities for Toyota, Lexus and Suzuki in a single 9790 m2 building. Louwman Real Estate is the corporate real estate department of Louwman Group and manages all 137 properties owned by the group. This organization develops, builds, maintains and also leases out properties to sister companies in the Louwman Group and to third parties. Louwman Real Estate previously completed a BREEAM Excellent dealer building in Arnhem and has now achieved an even higher BREEAM level with this latest project. As one of the automotive leaders in the Netherlands, Louwman Group strongly endorses sustainability and we felt that building a BREEAM Outstanding automotive building would be a good way of inspiring our business colleagues to follow suit. The automotive retail division of Louwman Group operates locations in key market areas. This division has expanded significantly during recent years and is now one of the leading automotive dealer groups in the Netherlands.

The building is designed as a landmark with a single coherent and compact space behind an elongated front facade. Customers can park at the front of the building where the showrooms are located.
Employees park at the back of the building and there is an outside yard for stock vehicles. Each of the showrooms – one for Toyota, one for Suzuki and one for Lexus – has its own identity. They are located at the front of the building on the ground floor and on the second floor. The workshop is located at the rear of the building on the ground floor and an indoor car storage facility has been created on the second floor. A narrow area for the supporting (administrative) functions separates the showrooms from the workshop on the first floor. The used car showroom on the second floor can be accessed from each of the dedicated brand showrooms via staircases in double-height spaces lit by natural light entering the building through skylights. The offices are located on two floors in a tower on the left-hand side of the building. This office tower looks out across the outside water feature and ensures that the building is clearly visible from the main access road and the highway.

Key Features

The building was designed to be fully energy-neutral and a healthy and pleasant environment for employees and customers alike by;

  • Limiting energy demand
  • Using of Renewable energy
  • Reducing water consumption
  • Installing of CO2 monitoring
  • Limiting use of materials
  • Creating aesthetically pleasing views through transparency

About the BREEAM assessment

Louwman Group opted to build a highly sustainable building in line with the core values ​​and ambitious objectives of Louwman Group and Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050. BREEAM sets a benchmark for sustainability. By working to BREEAM, a high standard in the area of sustainability and all the other aspects that BREEAM covers was achieved. The team at Louwman Real Estate has its own BREEAM expert, so the choice to certify to BREEAM was perfectly logical.

Louwman Group wanted to build a highly sustainable building.  BREEAM was chosen because it sets a clear benchmark. Louwman Group has built a BREEAM Excellent automotive building in the past. Based on that experience, building another BREEAM Excellent building would have been less of a challenge. However, it was decided to build an even more sustainable building this time to set a new benchmark for future projects.


Green Strategy

Despite the size of plot, little space remains for plants and trees. Due to the large number of PV panels, not much space is available for birds on the roof either. Furthermore, automotive companies do not usually welcome trees and birds because they make the cars dirty. However,  it was still a goal to provide space for as many species as possible within a relatively small surface area.

BREEAM helped overcome the resistance to birds and trees because it provided more tools to explain the for need trees, birds and insects.The shape of the plot offered some favorable spaces for large insect hotels. Indigenous plants and trees were included, which do not need additional water and attract local insects like beetles and sawflies. Small bird shelters for the black redstart were also placed on the roof.

The municipality wanted to help because of the sustainable nature of the development. They created a large pond in front of the project to collect rainwater from the building and the area and to provide sustainable water storage for the area. A gently inclined bank was included to give water birds, and amphibians easy access to the water. This also created space for plants like purple loosestrife and swanflower. Duck nesting baskets were also placed in the pond.

Benefits of Assessing to BREEAM and achieving certification?

I am very proud of the Louwman Rotterdam Zuid project. Not only has it achieved a BREEAM Outstanding Design Stage Certificate, it was also the first project to do so in the automotive branch. This development sets a new benchmark for our dealer locations and will inspire our automotive colleagues to achieve the same level of sustainability. Together, we can create a better world. This fits in perfectly with our mission: Passion to move People -Eric Louwman, President of the Louwman Group