Over 165 tons of hot dip galvanized steel have found a second home in the new Biopartner 5 laboratory in Leiden, the Netherlands. For 50 years, the galvanized steel components were used as the supporting structure of a nearby university high-rise building. After demolition and dismantling of the old building, a new phase of life is now beginning for the steel parts as the load-bearing structure of a new laboratory building. Biopartner offers flexible office and laboratory facilities for research based pharmaceutical companies in the Leiden Bio Science Park.
Architects, Popma ter Steege, set a clear goal for the project – to keep the ecological footprint of the building as low as possible. For all building materials, the environmental impact was quantified based on available data, but also assessed on the basis of common sense.
The objectives for the project were achieved by the reuse of materials mostly from a neighboring building that had been in use for 50 years. A key material that forms the main building block for the new laboratory is the inviting steel frame structure that forms the entrance to the new building.
The result is a building that meets the highest sustainability requirements. Biopartner 5 was the first laboratory building in the Netherlands to receive the “Paris Proof” environmental certificate from the Dutch Green Building Council because it meets the Paris climate targets. It considered not only the in-use energy consumption, but also the carbon data for the materials used. The reuse of the hot dip galvanized steel components has made a significant contribution.
Durability and reuse are important elements within the move to a circular economy. Components that can be used over long periods of time, for structures that have been designed for reuse either at different locations or adapted for different functions will not have a significant further impact on the climate. In comparison, repairs and recycling are useful but will have an impact. For the construction industry this can be a great boon, as it can result in significant savings in carbon.
Photos © Rene de Wit