Brede School Zuidhorn

Brede School Zuidhorn is a community school used for primary education (public and private), after-school care activities, sports, physical therapy and facilities for assisted living and working. During the design of the building, much attention has been paid to the different functions and to the different users of the building. The various program components are cleverly combined in a lens-shaped floor plan. Open spaces and squares connect the spaces and floors with each other.

Energy efficiency was one of the key goals. One of the means to obtain that goal was thermal mass activation of the concrete floors that deliver a high thermal comfort and ensure low energy consumption. Thanks to the thermal mass activation, suspended ceiling systems are unnecessary and therefore the joint connections of structural elements are visible. This has two important effects. First of all, the children learn to understand how a building structure works. Secondly, the height of the classrooms could be maximized so that the optical difference in height between adults and children is minimized (which improves the mutual solidarity).

The classrooms are oriented to the south. In order to reduce the cooling load (due to direct sunlight) while ensuring maximum daylight and view, vertical ‘louvres’ in precast exposed concrete have been added to the south façade. The elements provide the desired shades, creating the effect of a sundial. The rhythm of the louvres continues inside in the in-situ concrete walls that separate the classrooms.

Recent earthquakes in the area of the school, the north of the Netherlands, have resulted in extra attention to earthquake resistant building. During the execution of the school, new guidelines (NPR 9998) were in preparation. The concrete structure had been designed with dilations, but finally executed without them, according to the latest knowledge and insight.

Key facts:
  • Country: The Netherlands
  • Project: Brede School Zuidhorn
  • Client: municipality of Zuidhorn
  • Architect: KPB architecten, Groningen (until mid-2015: Team 4 architecten, Groningen)
  • Project team: Paul Klaas de Boer and Tom de Vries (KPB architecten), Dagmar Munneke (3DM ontwerp, Groningen; BIM), Gert Wage and Gerko Pit (Team 4 architecten)
  • Structural engineer: ABT / Wassenaar, Haren
  • Contractor: Friso Bouwgroep, Sneek
  • Building physics engineer: DGMR, Drachten
  • Landscape architect: MD-landschapsarchitecten, Groningen
  • Floor area: 6500 m2
  • Design period: 2012-2014
  • Start of construction: Summer 2014
  • Completion of project: July 2015
  • Photo credits: Mark Hadden
  • More information

Tags: energy efficiency, thermal mass, school

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