The city of Venlo
The city of Venlo
The city of Venlo (NL) embraced the Cradle to Cradle® (C2C®) principles as the first region in Europe to do so. In 2008 Venlo decided to build their City Hall as shining example of C2C® design. The creation of a pleasant and healthy workplace for employees has been the central theme: a building that offers a comfortable and healthy working environment, combined with sustainable innovation.
Maximized allocation of the available budget within the agreed program of requirements, while developing a building that meets the highest quality standards from a Cradle to Cradle / Circular perspective. Additionally, the city hall Venlo project was considered as an important showcase and catalyst for future circular (building) projects.
Venlo considers the C2C® principles as a revolutionary economic concept and true driver for innovation, based on new circular economy business models and the use of materials in perpetual cycles. Based on these principles, Venlo applied a wide variety of circular measures within a circular economy business model, among others:
- Venlo invested €3.4 mln in circular measures, which creates a net saving of € 16.8 mln over the use time of the building and a positive cash flow after year 1;
- The building is a material bank for the future, including e.g. guaranteed take back with 18% guaranteed residual value for the furniture;
- Focus on health has beneficial impact on users (e.g. lower sick-rates, higher productivity) and the environment.
Moreover, the building has been realized within the budget and without dependency on subsidies. From the time the building has been in use (since October 2016), the operational costs are significantly lower compared to former and traditional (linear) buildings.
“Realizing economic growth, by boosting innovation that goes beyond conventional sustainability… The creation of a pleasant and healthy workplace for employees of the Municipality of Venlo has been the central theme: a building that offers a comfortable and healthy working environment, combined with sustainable innovation.”
The Venlo city hall is enabled by designing for circularity: ensuring political context is committed, considering circularity as lever for economic growth, environment and people. The economic situation had a major role in the decision-making process and eventually positively influenced the decision-making process (also during times of economic uncertainties) that investing in circularity results in savings and earnings during the use time with a positive cashflow. Also, an important enabler is the mindset and personal drive of the team.
“The business case showed a positive case study of 16.9 mln euros and a positive cashflow after year 1! But far more important…the building proves that a healthy circular building has big, beneficial impacts on people and the environment”
Circular Economy Business Models
The city hall provides Venlo not only with a positive cash flow but with significantly lower operational costs as well: the indoor air quality is better than outside; the green façade and roofs purifies 30% fine dust and CO2 in a radius of 500m. Numerous Cradle to Cradle innovations have taken place: The building generates its own energy, purifies water and is considered as a material bank for the future.
Additionally, the project gains lots of attention and is seen as catalyst for new healthy and circular (building) projects. Over 40,000 people visited the project because of its circular innovations.