- Scheme & Version: NL New Build and Renovation 2014
- Stage: Design Stage
- Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
- Size: 40,000 sqm
- Score & Rating: Outstanding 90.61%
- Certificate Number: 1003-NON-2014
- Developer/ Client: Prologis
- NSO: DGBC
- Architect: Johan de Vries
- Building Services: Hoppenbrouwers/Heesmans
- Assessor/ Auditor: ir. Sander de Jong – RPS advies- en ingenieursbureau bv
- Tenant/ Occupant: XPO Logistics
- Contractor: Van der Heijden
- BREEAM & WELL Advisor: M3E
- Interior Architect: Doepel Strijkers
About the Project
‘Imagine yourself transforming a former waste dump into an attractive and green logistics center’.
It may sound idealistic and it’s not a standard (yet) but this is actually the case. Prologis has taken this brownfield site and developed a 40,000 square meter logistics facility with a clear height of 12.2m including 1,000 sqm offices and 3,500 sqm mezzanine space. The site is located on our Prologis Park Eindhoven, one of the key Logistic hot spots in the South of the Netherlands. In the 70’s and 80’s the site was used as a waste dump for domestic waste. The site was characterized by ‘complex’ soil conditions and challenging environmental aspects due to the contamination.
Our ambition to create the most sustainable, all-comprehensive approach building is in itself unique, however this particular project started life as a speculative development. Our futureproofing targets where to design a building without local emissions (no gas-connection), net zero-carbon output (by generating more energy than it’s own energy consumption) and with a people-centric design making it a healthy and pleasant working space, set in an ecological environment rich for recreation and biodiversity.
A unique building design that’s ahead of what’s next by it’s flexible architectural design and innovative technologies which allows accommodation of multiple occupants and operations. Our ambition is to create an exemplary project that inspires and sets the standard for future developments in the logistics sector.
In short: this is a future-proof building that will continue to add value for future generations to it’s environment, community and the economy.
Incorporating a people centric design that creates a healthy and pleasant working environment. To focus not only on storage of goods but on employees wellbeing as well, Prologis introduced the WELL Building Standard in logistics real estate. We worked with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) to set the standard for WELL building certifications with an eye toward measuring how logistics buildings can accommodate the health and well-being of the people working within. We recognize this as being complimentary to the BREEAM HEA-category.
Health and wellness features include indoor greenery to enhance air quality while at the same time promoting connections with nature. Window strips under and above the mezzanine combined with skylights make natural daylight to enter the building. Green plant walls and air handling system providing fresh and filtered air to ensure indoor air quality. Imitating natural light to counteract tired eyes for forklift drivers by applying uninterrupted LED linear roof lighting. These features make the building more operationally efficient, as well as more enjoyable for our customers’ workforces, which is important to attract and retain talent. The project has been designed according to WELL certification at GOLD level (the performance verification is pending).
To design a building of this size without gas connection with a low carbon footprint and lower energy cost is challenging. An all-electric solution for heating and cooling systems eliminates local emission while providing a comfortable indoor climate. By eliminating local emissions this building has no negative impact on nature reserves by NOx-emissions, currently one of the biggest environmental issues in The Netherlands. Energy efficient heat pumps, high grade insulation, smart building controls and triple-pane windows have been installed according to the BREEAM ENE-category. The all-electric concept in combination with the PV-system on the roof make it a zero-carbon facility. The solar system will generate enough electricity to sustain the actual consumption of the entire facility.
A unique design feature to showcase the sustainable character of the building are the glass panels in the canopy above the entrance with integrated PV-panels (BIPV). The spacious bicycle shed is equipped with e-bike chargers and also has a roof with translucent PV-panels.
The site is surrounded by a narrow green ribbon with nature-inclusive landscaping that strengthens well-being and stimulates biodiversity. Outdoor seats and a picnic area surrounded by green invite employees to go outside during coffee- and lunchbreaks. Ecological signs are used to inform people about the surrounding nature to create awareness. Ecological features like domestic trees and plants, beehives, bird houses, insect hotels and a water buffer retention pond strengthen the ecological (flora and fauna) value. The retention pond has a dual function being a habitat for animals and place to relax. In synergy with the BREEAM LE-category we applied the NL Green Label. A label for the living environment to measure the green performance of the site.
Prologis and interior architect Doepelstrijkers have developed a Toolbox to capture generic design principles and give guidance with the material selection in line with BREEAM, WELL Building Standard and Circular Design. The material selection toolbox supports the design team by selecting low emission finishes (without VOC, Volatile Organic Compounds) to avoid hazardous emissions to the indoor. This toolbox resulted in a generic design tool easily replicable for future buildings.
Being a long term owner of the facility Prologis selected durable and long lasting materials which will result in lower maintenance cost during the life span of the facility. The office finishes are approx. 80% circular by using Cradle-to-cradle, low emitting, recycled and biobased building materials. The project is FSC certified to ensure all wood products come from well managed forests.
The building is designed to minimize our environmental impact (BREEAM MAT-category) but unavoidable carbon emissions will always remain. Through The Planet Mark certification scheme Prologis is protecting the world’s most at-risk rainforest with the charity Cool Earth. Via a carbon offset donation Eindhoven DC 4 is protecting 341 acres of rainforest by mitigating 100% of unavoidable carbon emissions associated with the development of the building.
We see BREEAM as the fundamental starting block that provides oversight at all levels of sustainability.
BREEAM acts as the backbone of our sustainable development goals and is strengthened by other labels like WELL Building certification, ISO14001 and NL Green Label.
The BREEAM certification is the tool to compare the sustainable performance of buildings in a transparent and measurable way. With the application of the BREEAM methodology we are identifying solutions that help Prologis and our customers reduce collective carbon impacts.
Who required it?
In first instance Prologis and its employees, since we are conscious about the impact of our organization on the environment, whether that’s the footprint of our activities or the livability of the built area we create. In highly populated areas we feel even more responsible for creating attractive, healthy and pleasant places to stay inside and around our facilities for our customers, their employees and the community.
From a business perspective our tenants and their end-customer often demand a BREEAM certified building. In doing so we enable our tenants prove that they’re running a sustainable business and supply chain helping them to lower their footprint and reach their environmental goals.
Green building certifications like BREEAM are an integral part of the Prologis Green Bond Framework which allocates proceeds to Eligible Green Projects. Green bonds are used to attractively fund projects that increase sustainability and reduce environmental impacts.
Committing to a Green Bond helps us attract and retain tenants, improve the quality of our buildings with new features that reduce operational costs and environmental impacts, and attract environmentally conscious investors.
Changes made to the development and its procurement/management as a result of using BREEAM:
By setting the Outstanding standard we have challenged and encouraged the whole supply chain in proposing best practices for this development. The request for proposal challenged bidders to propose innovative solutions for heating and cooling compliant to our sustainability goals. Creativity to meet the sustainable objectives was one of the selection criteria during the tender process.
For several procurement packages we awarded the scope with most ingenuity to meet BREEAM credits best instead of simply pricing. We have learned that by having the highest sustainability ambitions it is difficult to define exact scope in an early stage, in particular given the narrow time frame to build the warehouse. To mitigate this issue Prologis and GC Van der Heijden came to a best efforts obligation allowing the project team to optimize the project further during engineering and construction phase.
A trustful relationship, open-minded approach and defining BREEAM Outstanding as a common goal for all stakeholders shaped the culture “we’re in this together and let’s make it happen”.
Categories the building performed well in:
Management: Score – 100%
The project scored a perfect 100% score on BREEAM MAN-category, This has been realized by using a Life Cycle Assessment, the selection of ISO 14001 certified sub-contractors and commissioning of the installations. A clear and well-prepared handover protocol including a step-by-step process to explain the functioning of the technical installations resulted into a smooth transfer of the installations from installers to the facility and property managers. Helping the future operators of the building to run the installations efficiently from day one. The project performed really well in this category as a result of awareness of the environmental impact throughout the supply chain from architect up to and including the team on site.
Ecology: Score – 81.82%
Involvement of an ecologist directly from project initiation contributed to a 81,82% score for the LE-category (= max. possible score within site constrains). Based on the recommendations of the ecologist the site plan has been optimized by adding a narrow green ribbon with nature-inclusive landscaping that strengthens well-being and stimulates biodiversity. In synergy with the BREEAM LE-credits NL Green Label has been applied to utilize the maximum ecological value of the landscaping.
Energy: Score – 95%
At commencement of the project Prologis set the ambition to develop a building without gas connection. An all-electric solution for the heating and cooling of a building of this scale requires innovative technologies and is a brand new concept for Prologis. To make this concept work a combination of energy efficient heat pumps, high grade insulation, smart building controls and triple-pane windows has been designed. This concept resulted in a 95% score in the BREEAM ENE-category. The all-electric solution in combination with the 2.94 MW PV-system on the roof make it a zero-carbon facility. The solar system will generate more electricity than the actual consumption the entire facility. The total generated power equals approx. 750 households, making the building not only a storage box but also a plant that generates green energy.
Environmental Challenges & Green Strategy
What were the buildings/clients environmental and green strategy challenges?
Site specific challenges: Eindhoven DC4 is built on a brownfield. In the 70’s and 80’s the site was partly used as waste dump for domestic waste resulting into complex soil conditions and challenging environmental aspects due to contamination. To make the re-use of this land possible special measures were necessary. Our plan incorporated soil remediation, a gas drainage system under the building and a special concrete foundation to withstand the aggressive toxic subsoil. To ensure the load bearing capacity and avoid settlement of the super flat and jointless floor 15.000 high speed piles have been installed.
Flexible design: The fact that the project started as a speculative development forced us to design a generic solution suitable for multiple functions and operations. Imagine a column-free expedition area by designing a hanging mezzanine suitable for all kinds of operations without hindrance of columns!
Green ambition: Due to the lack of water retention possibilities on site we collaborated closely with the Water Authorities. To meet their requirements we created a pond connected to the public waterways and combined this with an outside relaxation area for employees.
Innovative technologies: Our goal to design this project without gas connection was a big challenge. Stepping away from proven techniques and explore new concepts means getting out of your comfort zone to make it happen.
How BREEAM helped to overcome these:
Breeam has been used as a base structure to deal with these challenges. The categories within the BREEAM methodology provided a structured and systematic approach. Not just based on feeling but in a controlled and substantiated manner. The BREEAM Outstanding goal setting worked as an accelerator throughout the whole supply chain for being inventive and a search for next generation of building improvements.
Innovative technologies, processes and strategies adopted to overcome these challenges and provide value to the development and project team:
An all-electric solution for the heating and cooling of a building of this scale requires innovative technologies and is a brand new concept for Prologis. To make this concept work we have found out that there is no single “on the shelve solution” but a combination of enhanced technologies is required to make it work, taking into account a comfortable indoor climate, low carbon footprint and energy savings.
Real-time Energy and Health Data
Innovative sensors are used to monitor the indoor quality of air while real-time data is displayed on screens to keep the buildings’ occupants informed about the quality of air they breathe. Sensors continuously monitor the presence of fine particulate in the warehouse, in case of an exceedance air ventilation increases to secure clean working environment.
We employ intelligent sensors to collect and analyze information that visualizes key building data on an interactive smart wall.
Prologis Design Optimization Workshops
In the building development planning period these workshops serve as a cross-functional, collaboration to explore ideas and discuss insights to reduce risk and create additional value from our buildings.
Prologis holds these workshops for new developments globally — above and beyond the industry standard.
In engineering and construction phase the project team continued to search for Value Engineering opportunities even after signing the General Contractor Agreement. This approach requires flexibility of all members of the project team but creates the opportunity to improve the project while under construction.
Interior design Toolbox: Prologis and interior architect Doepelstrijkers have developed a Circular Toolbox to capture the generic design principles and give guidance with the material selection in line with BREEAM, WELL Building Standard and Circular Design.
The Toolbox will be updated consistently and will be replicated on the next projects. Involving an interior architect and circularity expert is not common in the sector of logistics real estate but this innovative approach helped to make our project to stand out.
We’ve been using BREEAM as a driver for a deeper dive in several criteria’s. As a long term owner and developer we took this chance to work on a project transcending ambition. We have managed to capture our solution in a modular way for easily re-use resulting in a ‘Circular Toolbox’, WELL Building standardization, NL Green Label checklist and defining a company wide Carbon neutral vision. A direction and inspiration for our Company world wide.
Benefits of BREEAM
Prologis started this project as a speculative build with a high sustainability ambition given our long term ownership of developments. During construction XPO was pitching for a logistics contract and the high BREEAM rating of our facility supported them in winning this deal. Prologis was in competition with another speculative development and the higher standard of our design was a decisive factor for XPO to choose for our project. This business case proves that you can differentiate by investing in sustainability upfront. In the end this leads to a better product and than it’s not about the lowest pricing but about the ability to run a more profitable operation in the long run with low operational costs and being the ultimate tool to attract and retain labour.
‘This building benefits from low energy and maintenance cost, helping us to make our Business case work. Besides costs, the design of the building looks great and attracts talent to work in such a nice environment, very important in these days challenging labour market’.
– Bert van der Sterren, CFO XPO Logistics (Customer and end-user)
The project team is proud of the BREEAM certification at Outstanding level which is fantastic recognition of a team-effort and motivates us to continue our journey of continuous improvement at future projects.
For this particular building the BREEAM certificate will help us to retain and attract tenants in the future.
‘The ambitious goal setting was key in getting all stakeholders in the right direction. As a project team we accepted the challenge and were aware of the difficulties. By consulting the right experts, gaining knowledge and the right mind-set we outperformed on our expectations. A great integration of technology and vision!’
– Jeroen van Beuningen, Project Lead General Contractor Van der Heijden
BREEAM certification offers a bench mark and the rating helps us to differentiate from competition. It serves as a tool for Prologis and our customers to measure, prove and promote their ESG strategy.
As integrated part of our Green Bond initiative the BREEAM certification attracts environmentally conscious investors.
Prologis is using GRESB for ESG benchmarking of its assets. The assessment contains approximately 55 indicators, including energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and waste. In the coming years entering the actual project data in GRESB will provide insight by validation and bench marking of the project’s sustainability performance against the industry standards.
‘Reaching the highest level of sustainability requires a different mindset of all stakeholders. On our journey to reach BREEAM Outstanding we have engaged the entire project team, local authorities and our customer. With a culture of passion, joy and inspiration all team members where encouraged to go above and beyond the minimum requirements. The result? An outstanding facility, that’s adding value for future generations!
– Martijn Kuijken, Director Project Management Prologis Benelux
Outcomes, Lessons & Achievements
The building is a stunning example of the next generation of warehousing facilities. Energy-neutral, human-centric design, interacting with its environment, on redeveloped (polluted) land, healthy for the employees inside, ecology friendly at the outside and flexible to adapt to a variety of customers.
The design holds an eye for detail, is exceptional for a storage box of this size but essential to divert back to human scale. The colour of the translucent outer strip is tuneable and can be adjusted to match the identity of every new tenant.
The main volume with its characteristic canopy above the transparent offices: an honest, sustainable and distinct logistics building where people are the focal point. The modest design is eye-catching, when you’re at work or even in passing.
A next step in people centric vision is set forward in the storage space with visible and less visible aspects. Setting a new direction in warehouse design making this warehouse ‘more than four walls and a roof’!
Eindhoven DC4 represents the aesthetic, sustainable and social ambitions of Prologis, developer and manager of logistic real estate. A brilliant new perspective!
Leading by example – As global leader in logistics real estate Prologis is in a position to set the standard for our industry. By our global scale and presence in local markets we’re able to roll out our vision.
By our active participation in focus groups we contribute to a further development of future industry standards. In the Netherlands we participate in the working group of DGBC to make the sector of logistics real estate Paris Proof. Furthermore, Prologis was the first company to apply pilot the WELL Building Standard to warehouse design. In our role as Industrial sector advisory we supported the International WELL Building Institiute to shape the WELL Building Standard for logistics real estate. Active participation in working groups gives us a platform to share best practices, transfer knowledge and lessons learned.
Prologis is an international company. The innovations in health, zero carbon and all electric technology are documented for future sites. Solutions that worked are brought in the building specifications for future projects. These are shared internally via Design Optimization Workshops and externally on https://www.prologis.com/about/sustainable-industrial-real-estate using ESG reports, GRESB reporting and more.
Publications and video’s will be posted on social media to promote the technologies and innovations of Eindhoven DC 4. A dedicated micro-site of the project is currently under construction, including an interactive 3D render based on the BIM-model which will be used to showcase the concept of Eindhoven DC 4.
Employees and visitors are able to interact with the building via a smart wall at a central point in the building. A narrow casting system is used to showcase the BREEAM features, energy performance, air quality and smart innovations to create awareness and engagement around the theme sustainability. Via real-time data, animations and a quiz employees and visitors will be educated about sustainability in an attractive, useful and funny way.
(At the time of publishing: 23/02/21) Verification in process for WELL Building GOLD certificate and Green Terrain Label certificate.