project description

In the Netherlands, 55% of Dutch offices will not pass the energy rating certification of label C that will come into effect in 2023. Moreover, the country is currently experiencing a housing crisis with over 1 million homes needed by 2030. As such, MOR is developing a renovation strategy to renovate underperforming office buildings into net-positive, multi-purpose buildings that are contributors to their environment and catalysts for activities and social interactions. The building is flexible to programmatic changes and adaptable to the inhabitants’ needs over time by way of a modular design from the interior modules to the photovoltaic facade tiles on the exterior, as well as through the use of design for disassembly methods. By using prefabrication methods with an economy of scale, MOR is able to offer these housing units at affordable prices for starters (young professionals, age 25-35). Starting from here, MOR aims to create a future-proof built environment that gives more to its surroundings than what it takes away from it. As a case study for the project, the Team decided to refer to the Marconi towers in Rotterdam, a typical 1970s office typology located in an area currently being transformed into a new makers district.

key features

MOR’s renovation proposal achieves a net-positive footprint:

  • Energy+: By producing more energy than the building needs, the surrounding buildings can use that energy, or it could be stored in batteries in case of power outages.
  • Air+: An intelligent and efficient system filters the outisde air nand provides a comfortable and healthy indoor climate.
  • Material+: By using ‘design for disassembly’ methods and environmentally-friendly materials (high recycle/up-cycle values), the building becomes a material bank: each material is comprehensively recorded in an open-source material passport.
  • Water+: Rainwater collected on the roof is used for irrigation, treated grey-water is used in urban parks and farms, and black water is processed with organic waste to generate energy.
  • Biomass+: Food, such as mushrooms, vegetables or herbs, is produced in the building through hydroponics systems found throughout the living floors and with a greenhouse on the roof.

applied innovative technologies

  • The facade tiles are coloured solar panels designed for easy assembly/disassembly, serving a practical and aesthetic function.
  • A Helophyte filter system treats waste water to be reused for toilet flushing and irrigation by using. The system first separates the waste from the water, then purifies it with bacteria working together with helophytes to eliminate the contaminants.
  • The Green Wall is both an architectural feature and important to the climate strategy. The incoming air is filtered through the plants as it enters the home. Behind it, salt-based PCM help pre-heat the air in the winter and pre-cool it in the summer: minimising the reliance on the more taxing technical systems. A 5m-long PCM battery is used to intelligently increase the performance of the air heat pump.
For more information about the prototype and the Team, please visit the project website: