Park 20|20: A Leading Example for Built Positive

Park 20|20 is a 92,000 m2 business park located in Haarlemmermeer, on the outer edges of Amsterdam. It is the first full-service business park designed with Cradle to Cradle® in mind, combining sustainable design and an optimal ecological approach with a groundbreaking, innovative way of executing a holistic market-driven business plan. One of the several elements of this approach to business is the placement of human well-being, health and productivity at the center of its design, and development. Park 20|20 is a global showcase of the transition toward a circular built environment.

Development of Park 20|20 has been realized through joint efforts from three partners, who together have made the development of Park 20|20 possible: Delta Development Group, VolkerWessels, and Reggeborgh Group. William McDonough + Partners has also played a central roll in the parks success as the lead concept and design firm for the master plan and each of the buildings. Together these organizations have combined their expertise and ideas around a shared vision on designing a sustainable way of doing business. Every building design makes ​​optimal use of natural resources and is in line with Cradle to Cradle® philosophy. A growing number of businesses are profiting from the healthy working environment that has been created.

Real estate developer Delta Development Group has played a pivotal role in bringing Park 20|20 into fruition. To date, Delta has built approximately one million square meters in accordance with Cradle to Cradle® design philosophy and circular economic practices. Owen Zachariasse, Delta’s head of Innovation & Sustainability, was one of the speakers at the launch of the co-creative Built Positive movement on April 12 in Amsterdam. During the event, he shared some insights on what has driven him to incorporate the Cradle to Cradle® principles into their developments.

“Back in 2009, Delta went through a large organizational transformation. We started rethinking the way we run our business and what our roll is as a developer of property. Through this we devised a new ethos: business as an engine for change. We asked ourselves, how can we create projects and build structures that generate positive social and environmental value, while at the same time deliver a strong and consistent return on investment? Cradle to Cradle® was a very inspiring and also very practical way for us to approach that question.”

Park 20|20 is unique in the way that it is designed to maximize positive ecological impact, job satisfaction, and economic growth simultaneously.  “We have tried to create a dynamic office environment that is centralized around common and shared systems, with a human-centered design approach to realize the cleanest, most inspiring and productive working environment to date.” It is what Zachariasse describes as the next step for the building industry.

“We are truly excited and proud of what we have achieved with this development, not only technically, but also with the project’s fantastic economic performance., because for us this business case component mobilizes our ability to engage business as an engine for positive change. Our work however is not yet complete, we must always continue to push ourselves and continuously improve our approach and techniques.”

Zachariasse has been an important advocate for Built Positive. “As a developer, Built Positive is extremely relevant for us because it is about creating a dynamic community of different stakeholders throughout the value chain that are co-creating and collaborating toward a positive future.”

Park 20|20 serves as an example for Built Positive, including in the areas of circular design, material health, and design for disassembly. It shows how the key elements of Cradle to Cradle® can be incorporated, at a site, building, and material level. Zachariasse also believes that the Built Positive movement can serve as a vehicle to spread the knowledge and expertise on circular projects such as Park 20|20.

“To me there is no better way to scale up the advancement of Cradle to Cradle inspired property development which is positioned within an emerging circular economy than to share knowledge, create business cases, and find practical solutions than through actual, physical projects. For me, Built Positive is about mobilizing the group that has already been doing it and showing those that are interested just how they can also use their business as a vehicle for positive change.”

Zachariasse sees a lot of opportunity to apply the knowledge that has been developed here to new markets.

“We need to get the knowledge group that we have here and move beyond our borders to train local developers and construction companies, and actively engage them through physical projects. Because that’s the beauty of real estate: it is a physical, tangible product that we can touch and say to each other, ‘That is Built Positive.’ That is what excites me, and that is what I think we really need.”

For more details on the Park 20/20 project, click here.

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