By: Peter van de Wiel

‘Ecology champion’ for office building renovation

2014 - March 2018

Van Spaendonck Ondernemingshuis, Tilburg, the Netherlands

For renovating an office building I was BREEAM ‘ecology champion’. I assessed nature impacts of renovation works, proposed measures to support nature and advised on creating a biodiversity garden.

The Van Spaendonck Ondernemingshuis (previously Corpac House), an office building in Tilburg, the Netherlands, has renovated its main building. In doing so, it has chosen to work as sustainably as possible. It aimed for a BREEAM certificate, the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for buildings. The building from the 1960s is stripped to basics and completely refurbished towards zero emission, low water use, recycled materials, and so forth.

A key component towards being awarded the certificate is to take into account flora and fauna. This is both in terms of reducing disturbance or damage to nature during development and renovation works as well as integrating opportunities for native plants and animals in or around the building. The BREEAM process also includes a check for legal obligations in terms of protected species or habitats.

My role was to act as ‘ecology champion’ in assessing possible and actual impact of renovation works on flora and fauna. In addition I proposed measures to support local animals and plants. This also included giving advice on the design and management of the surrounding biodiversity garden, established in 2010.

Following a control by a BREEAM assessor the Van Spaendonck Ondernemingshuis received the certificate ‘Excellent’.

Article in Vakblad Groen about the biodiversity garden (in Dutch)

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