The building will provide a pleasant working environment, in line with the future housing ambition document of 2009.
The activities of RIVM and the MEB have inspired the design of the new building. It provides a transparent and open structure that will encourage collaboration, the exchange of knowledge and planned or spontaneous meetings. Employees of RIVM and MEB will benefit from this, but also external partners such as knowledge partners, clients, professionals and citizens. Fifty percent of RIVM office workplaces are located in the immediate vicinity of the laboratory areas.
Everywhere you go in the building, you will be able to orient yourself due to the use of open lines and daylight. The building will be ‘easy to read’: upon entering the building, all functions are located where you would expect to find them. Ideally, no signs will be required.
Sobriety with impact
The building needs to create a modest impression to demonstrate that public funds are being used responsibly and effectively. At the same time, it must be consistent with the impact of two leading international knowledge institutes. Generating and sharing new knowledge are the key. The result is a transparent research building which will facilitate the work of RIVM and MEB. Daylight, space and pleasant views will all make for a refreshing and inspiring work environment.
RIVM and MEB are dynamic working environments, where new research questions emerge. It is important that the organisations can adapt to developments in society and to the changing demands of specific research. The new building will be flexible: both the building and its interior have been equipped for multifunctional use and will be relatively easy to modify. For example, it can be extended or certain areas could be made available to a knowledge partner, for example. This means that the building is future-proof.
The building meets high sustainability requirements - both in relation to the building itself, and its operation. In this way, RIVM and MEB want to set an example in the field of sustainable construction and sustainable operation. This reflects the sustainability ambitions that are so prominent in the work done by RIVM and MEB.
Sustainability standards will be assessed using the BREEAM method (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). This is a method for evaluating the extent to which buildings are sustainable. Especially for this project, the BREEAM method has been extended with a laboratory module.
Laboratory spaces consume a lot of energy because they require much better ventilation than most spaces. But energy-efficient ventilation is just one of a wide range of criteria. BREEAM also includes requirements for management, health and comfort, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, land use, and ecology and pollution.
An inspiring place to work
People and the environment are central to the outward appearance of the new building. In addition to providing an outstanding physical working environment, employees will also benefit from a healthy social working environment. A healthy working environment contributes to the well-being of employees. This means positioning the stairwells so that users are encouraged to use them.
Environmental factors that affect the physical and psychosocial health of humans have been prioritised. This applies not only to physical factors, such as daylight, views and acoustics, but also to user experience, such as green spaces, art, and the use of colour and materials. There will be a sports centre and healthy food available in the employee restaurant. The spatial and social structure of the building will also contribute to a healthy environment.