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Sustainable heating and cooling in Zuidas

Many buildings in Zuidas have heating and cooling systems that use either sustainable district heating or underground thermal energy storage (UTES). The city's heating network uses residual heat from the Diemen and VU Amsterdam power stations, and its cooling network runs on cooling water from Nieuwe Meer. UTES is a local system in which heat and cold are pumped underground on-site and pumped up again as needed. There are several UTES stores in Zuidas, at the new AkzoNobel and Stibbe buildings, The Edge, underneath Gustav Mahlerplein, at RAI Amsterdam and in Beatrixpark. Hompe Taselaar is currently working on a UTES master plan for the northern end of Zuidas. Apart from offering significant energy savings, UTES systems, like district heating, also facilitated a substantial cut in CO2 emissions. The RAI is one of the latest participants to switch to district heating, which will reduce its annual CO2 emissions by roughly 1,500 tonnes, or 50%, compared to the gas boilers it used previously. By way of comparison, it would take around 15,000 solar panels to achieve  similar savings in carbon.


How to improve your BREEAM NL (In-Use) score

On Friday 19 February GBC Zuidas and the Dutch Green Building Council organized a knowledge session about activities GBC Zuidas is undertaking to promote BREEAM-NL (In-Use) certifications. A large share of the buildings in the district obtained high sustainability ratings when they were originally built, but the question now is whether there is scope for further improvement. ABN AMRO, for instance, employed BREEAM-NL In-Use to upgrade its existing Gustav Mahlerlaan premises and made so many improvements that their existing building has now been nominated for the global BREEAM Awards. The knowledge session also explained how GBC Zuidas projects can raise buildings' BREEAM scores through measures such as green and blue roofs, waste separation and car sharing. In an extensive BREEAM-NL (In-Use) survey conducted last year, Zuidas was named the Netherlands' most sustainable top location. The session therefore also served as an opportunity for GBC to keep an eye on the situation in Zuidas to ensure we keep this title.


Green Business Club Zuidas turns five

On 29 March 2016 Green Business Club Zuidas will cap its fifth year. Much has been achieved in thisperiod: GBC Zuidas has gone from an idea floated by a handful of passionate initiators to a robust 30-member organization. On 21 January there was a reception held at Mason Street to celebrate this anniversary. It was ABN AMRO, the Zuidas project office and Oram that originally pitched the idea for GBC, sensing there was a need for more collaborative sustainability efforts. Other organizations soon joined. Annelinda van Dijck - van Eck of Vesteda was one of those enthusiastic 'newbies' and has now been an adviser to the GBC Zuidas board for three years. 'I'm proud that GBC Zuidas has been able to make a visible and tangible impact', she says. 'The commitment demonstrated by everybody involved proves that sustainability isn't just for show, but is intrinsically valued by members.' The GBC concept has also caught on, with Green Business Clubs now active in Utrecht, the Groene Hart region, The Hague's Beatrixkwartier, Twente and Duiven.