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Construction of Circl pavilion in Amsterdam

  • Published on September 6, 2017
BAM were involved in the construction of new building for ABN Amro bank, including facilitation of workshops and engagement with BAM's supply chain partners to offer circular solutions.

The Circl building in Amsterdam was built by BAM for ABN Amro banking group as a space for employees, customers and members of the public to work and collaborate. Although not originally a key requirement for the building, after working with closely with BAM, circularity became of great interest to the client. 

The pavilion is an exemplar in circular construction and has tested different concepts around the circular economy – these include lifetime extension, value recovery, service models and renewable energy.

Lifetime extension

The space itself has been designed to be as flexible as possible, ensuring maximum utilisation rates as well as being ready for future uses. The whole building has been designed to be dismantled and in theory the materials can be recovered close to their original form. This means that in the future the materials/ products can be resold and used in other buildings. For example, the timber structure is joined by slotting and bolts and at the end of the building’s life these timber beams can be used in a new structure or be repurposed for a different use. 

Value recovery

Re-using products recovered from buildings which are going to be refurbished or demolished is a high impact circular solution, as it prevents waste and the need to use new materials. Within Circl cable trays, hardwood parquet flooring and an old glazing façade was taken from various donor buildings used as internal wall partitions. To engage bank and construction employees with the ethos of the project, colleagues were asked to donate old jeans for repurposing as insulation– in total 16,000 pairs were repurposed as insulation (VRK & Metisse). Denimtex also recycled 2500 kilos of old ABN AMRO corporate clothing to create acoustic walling. The pavilion also includes various Cradle 2 Cradle products.

Renewable energy

Making buildings energy efficient is a top priority, so as well as the typical measures incorporated into the design, the Circl building uses phase changing material (PCM) to regularise the temperature. Gaia PCMs melt at 20 degrees, absorbing excess heat. The warmth is then released overnight reducing temperature fluctuation and minimising energy use. As well as reducing energy use there are several renewable energy options incorporated into the scheme. 

Service Models

ABN Amro owns Circl, but it does not own everything in the building. The lifts for instance, is owned by Mitsubishi. This means the lift supplier is selling a service - vertical mobility - rather than a product. A traditional lift lasts for twenty years. Mitsubishi guarantees a utilisation contract for double that: forty years.

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