EDIBLE OFFICE - A CONCEPT

 

A team of Dutch architects and engineers have developed a new type of building that integrates office functions and urban agriculture. The building has a double facade which functions as a greenhouse for local and special crops. The greenhouse also provides all of the heating, cooling and electricity. This concept combines energy efficiency, sustainability and healthy food while fulfilling the need for an inspiring natural environment.

 

AAYU architects Amsterdam, DGMR, IMd Raadgevende Ingenieurs and the Agricultural Economics Research Institute (Wageningen Universiteit) developed the concept in the framework of a competition for flexible and sustainable buildings.

In the 'Kaskantoor ," (The Greenhouse Office, the designers name for their concept), various crops grow, such as vegetables, fruits and herbs. There is also a vegetable garden on the roof. One third of the total floor area is 'farmland'. The plants make the building both literally and figuratively green. Meetings take place while sitting amongst the grapes  and one can harvest sweet peppers for meals prepared in the canteen.

Economy, ecology and energy come together. The building captures the summer heat in the greenhouse and stores it in the soil for use in winter. During the winter the cold air is stored to cool the offices during the summer. Electricity  demands are met by using plant waste from the greenhouse which is processed into bio-gas. This is driven by micro cogeneration (CHP). Regarding energy, the building is completely self-sufficient.

The Office is built using only wood, made from mechanically assembled, dismantled and bio-cyclic components with the highest environmental classification. Thanks to a concrete base the building can be placed on top of existing buildings. New construction or agricultural land is not necessary. A smart Office floor brings radiant heat and cooling, fresh air, and data on any desired spot. Within the framework of the "New Work" the building space affords a flexible division of space.

Thanks to the income from power generation and agriculture the costs are much lower then those of a standard office building.