The Green Village plans self-sufficient glass hall

The large glass hall with the tower alongside should demonstrate that maintaining a comfortable indoor climate doesn’t require external energy. “If this climate system works with a glass hall, it’ll work with any building.”

Artist's impression of CoCreation Centre. (Image: Royal Haskoning DHV)

Professor Peter Luscuere (Architectural Engineering and Technology) will present the concept of the ‘CoCreation Centre’ during the ‘boosting event’ at The Green Village on Thursday April 5th 2018. The Centre’s glass hall – a building with a self-powered and innovative climate control system – will be one of the sustainable innovations that are being developed here. Luscuere developed the idea in dialogue with Henk Willem van Dorp, director and shareholder of a large climate control company based in Zoetermeer.

“Usually, cooling is the main issue for office buildings,” Van Dorp says, “not the heating.” The proposed CoCreation Centre is a glass hall of 16 by 24 metres, eight metres high, meant for meetings and expositions. Once the sun is out, heat will start building up and the tower alongside the hall will need to provide the cooling.

Solar chimney

The tower is based on the solar chimney, which played an important role in the research by Dr Ben Bronsema, Professor Luscuere’s oldest PhD candidate. The basic idea is that the sun heats the air in the chimney, causing an upward draft that drives the ventilation. Hot air will be drawn from the top of the glass hall; fresh air will be pumped in through the floor.

Bronsema obtained his doctorate on the solar chimney in 2013. Although the CoCreation Centre’s climate tower is based on the same principle of using solar heating for cooling, it is also more advanced. One of the main improvements is the use of phase change materials (PCMs) for the storage of heat and cold. Like ice changing from the solid to the liquid state, PCMs absorb (or give off) large quantities of heat when crossing their (tuneable) transition temperature.

Van Dorp explains that the design includes hot and cold PCMs with phase changes at 21 and 40 degrees Celsius respectively. This design allows the system to store the freshness of the night and the heat of the day to balance the interior temperature in the range of 20-25 degrees Celsius.


Luscuere (right) and Van Dorp are balancing the system so that it needs no external energy. The tower has its own internal PV system of cooled solar panels. As a backup, the climate system also contains small fans and a small heat pump in case the passive heating and cooling should fall short during experimentation, but the intention is to minimise their use.

Almost half of the total energy use for office buildings is fan usage

The CoCreation Centre, if it will be built, will demonstrate that interior climate control can be achieved without energy-hungry air-conditioning systems. Van Dorp says that the standard total energy use (gas and power) for office buildings is 200 kWh/m2 per year, almost half of which is fan usage. Insulation, heat recovery, smart controls and LED lighting may reduce the office energy use to 50 kWh/m2 per year. Once that energy reduction has been achieved, a climate tower can provide an energy-neutral climate system.

The construction of the CoCreation Centre partly depends on funding. The commercial partners will support the project ‘in kind’, meaning they will contribute without invoicing. The main partners are Hunter Douglas, Royal Haskoning, Sage Glass by Saint Gobin, Orange Climate, Priva, The TU Delft Green Village, and Van Dorp installations.

The Green Village communication department says that the name ‘CoCreation’ indicates the merger of multiple research projects. Besides the self-sustainable climate control, there will be innovations in the glass construction and in the foundation. The glass construction will be designed by Professor Rob Nijsse who demonstrated his mastery of the structural use of glass in a glass bridge and the glass facade of the Chanel shop in Amsterdam. The foundation will play a role in the storage of heat and cold by means of ‘energy piles’, an innovation developed by Dr Phil Vardon and Dr Rafid al Khoury. All three work in the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.


Wetenschapsredacteur Jos Wassink

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