Circular buildings are becoming a reality through the use of sustainable materials and construction processes. The Triodos Bank office building, doubling as a material bank, demonstrates this goal of producing no construction waste.
Triodos Bank and developer EDGE have opened a new office for the bank in Zeist, the Netherlands. This unique wooden construction was designed by RAU Architects with its surrounding natural landscape in mind. Looking from the top of the building you can see its roofs covered with vegetation supported by engineered wood, more specifically Cross Laminated Timber columns and beams. The inside designed by Ex Interiors feels as if the surrounding trees merged to make an indoor space.
Serving a double purpose as an office building and a ‘material bank’, this building was constructed with over 165,000 screws. As concrete and steel are often welded together or poured into place, structures are demolished when reaching their useful life. Conventional materials used are not readily reusable causing a linear metabolism instead of a more conscious and circular process. The office building is a material bank as it can be dismantled, which in turn conserves the value of its materials and components creating no waste since its materials can be reused.
Building materials should be assessed in terms of their life cycle in order to achieve maximum circular potential. Starting to shift into more reconstructable materials and designs will allow engineers, constructors, and designers to depend less on energy-intensive and heavy emitting materials such as concrete and steel.