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Dutch university building gets pioneering climate system

The stunning new building for the Centre for Life Science at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands will boast a revolutionary climate system reducing the energy used for heating and cooling by 60%.

The building can be viewed as a body rising out of the ground into the space of the campus. Its shape also makes the building partially disappear with the perspective and the rising ground level.

The sight lines accentuate the open space rather than the mass of the building, and viewers look through the building rather than at it.

The new building will have a groundbreaking climate system that will generate a very pleasant indoor atmosphere while remaining very friendly to the environment.

According to Peter Blommestijn, Area Sales Manager, SWEP, the working principle for the climate system is Eco-Prefab floors with integrated cooling and heating pipes that are connected to a heat pump.

“This heat pump generates and stores the required energy using underground geothermal aquifers,” Blommestijn says. “The water temperature in the floor circuits is 26 degrees Celsius in winter and 18 degrees Celsius in summer.” SWEP will supply about 20 BPHEs of different sizes to the SUEZ-GTI company, which is the contractor for this project and responsible for the detail engineering and realization of all technical installations. Suez-GTI with head office in the Netherlands has 7,500 employees, mainly active in the Benelux. It is part of the huge SUEZ Energy Service Group in France.

“SWEP's BPHEs will mainly be used as pressure breakers for the various water circuits in the climate system,” Blommestijn says.

Royal Haskoning, an independent consultancy and engineering company with its head office in the Netherlands and 4,300 employees worldwide, is the adviser on this revolutionary climate system.

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen 

The University of Groningen is located in the city of Groningen. Founded in 1614, it is the second-oldest and third-largest university in the Netherlands. The University of Groningen is one of the top three European research universities in the fields of ecology, material sciences, chemistry and astronomy. Other strong research groups are in nanoscience, physics, molecular biology, microbiology, medical sciences, neuro-sciences, sociology, philosophy, theology, archeology and the arts. Every year, more than 4,300 research publications go to print and an average of 260 PhD students are awarded their PhD degree.