In designing and realising the new NATO headquarters, much attention was paid to energy efficiency. Besides the obvious sustainability factor, this aspect was also important as one of the very stringent safety measures. Regarding energy supply, the NATO headquarters functions nearly completely autonomous, operating its own emergency power supply and cogeneration. VK Architects & Engineers calculated and designed the technical installations for the entire site.
A 250,000 sqm low energy design
A maximum of renewable sources and materials were used, optimising the consumption of energy, water and space. The ambition is to tune demand to the actual need of the end-user, with the most ideal performance and a maximum reduction of energy requirements.
This 250,000 sqm low energy design has a building envelope with an optimal thermal insulation performance and airtightness. The offices, some 120,000 sqm, are passively cooled by means of active slabs, making this one of Europe’s largest slab cooling projects. Cold water for the slabs is partially produced with geothermal probes. The entire site calls on 142 geothermal probes, each measuring 125 meters.
Heating is produced on a low temperature regime, partly through cogeneration groups and through “water-water” heat pumps. Additionally, the heat on the mechanical ventilation units is recuperated. In dedicated spaces, the air flow varies in accordance to the concentrations of CO2 and COV. IT rooms are ventilated by means of hot and cold aisles.
Motion detection is applied for lighting. The intensity in the offices varies in function of the available daylight.
In the Staff Centre, 250 sqm of solar panels help heat the swimming pool water and the shower water.
Rain water is recuperated, while groundwater is also being pumped at a depth of 75 meters, with a maximum of 20 m³/h.
For the foundations of car parks and roads, recycled concrete debris was used from the former military quarter.