Park 20|20 Showcases Cradle to Cradle Products, Principles in Action

Park 20|20 outside of Amsterdam in The Netherlands is more than just a modern office campus. It’s a testament to the community-building and impact-reduction opportunities created by the Cradle to Cradle design philosophy and the Cradle to Cradle Certified products program.

The complex includes several office buildings, including B/S/H, comprised of five major appliance makers; FIFPro, a worldwide football (soccer) players’ union; audio communications manufacturer Plantronics; Fox Vakanties, an international travel agency; and Bluewater energy services. It also includes several cafes and technology pavilions.

The community as a whole, built around central car-free green spaces and water features, centers on what William McDonough + Partners describes as a “Triple Top Line” approach:

Social equity: one that is in keeping with Dutch philosophies of community connectivity, healthy workplaces, and reduced traffic congestion.
Ecology: implementing renewable energy strategies, continually reusing materials, specifying products as biological or technical nutrients, and enhancing biodiversity.
Economy: increasing the area’s economic viability by attracting and retaining a workforce and creating distinction in the marketplace.

Cradle to Cradle Certified products figure prominently throughout all of the buildings, ranging from siding to green roofing to carpet. Each building was tailored to suit the needs of the individual tenants, but also interplays with the rest of the community by sharing resources and environmental infrastructure, including wastewater treatment and solar capture. The result is a living, breathing organism that will continually grow and change with the advancement of technology and the evolution of the community itself into new uses and applications.

Shared Systems
Park 20|20 began at the master plan level, says Alastair Reilly, LEED AP, director at McDonough + Partners, optimizing the plan and the buildings to maximize energy generation and examining the entire scale as a whole. The master plan envisions the complex as “one big live organism,” according to McDonough + Partners, with the separate buildings working together to treat waste, collect water, and generate energy. Wastewater and restaurant “green waste” is treated on site, with resulting biogas used to power turbines for electricity and heat reused for hot water. Greywater is used for toilet flushing, and stormwater runoff is stored on site.

Photovoltaic systems on building roofs generate electricity and work hand in hand with green roofs: the solar panels provide shade, increasing biodiversity, and the greenery provides for a cooler surface temperature to improve PV system efficiency.

The design of the buildings is “human centered,” the project team describes, with a strategy “to create an optimal use of office space and strives to increase productivity by energizing and empowering the working individuals.” Thus, buildings are flooded with daylight and designed to encourage interaction and collaboration; at the same time, Cradle to Cradle’s efforts to avoid chemicals of concern helps improve indoor air quality and occupant comfort and health.

The buildings also interact with each other, sharing amenities such as conference rooms and theaters so as not to waste lesser used spaces. It’s further support of the integrated, supportive design that spans from one end of the campus to the other and from building to building. “They’re all unique,” Reilly says, “but part of it is bringing it together in one place.”

Cradle to Cradle Products at Work
Cradle to Cradle Certified products are present throughout the Park 20|20 buildings. The B/S/H building, for example, features Accoya wood siding, Daas Baaksteen Zeddam BV ClickBrick, Xero-Flor Moss Sedum, and Dow Building Solutions’ Styrofoam XPS insulation on the exterior, and Shaw carpet and hardwood flooring, Modulogreen Green Walls, Desso Palatino carpet, Interwand Intersmart Wall Systems, Saint Gobain Gyproc, and Royal Mosa floor and wall tiles on the interior.

In keeping with Cradle to Cradle’s core philosophies around the circular economy—considering the building and its components beyond just their standard useful life—the designers approached the project with an eye toward “designing for disassembly,” Reilly explains. “The thought is that if you think about the way they’re disassembled, sometimes the way they’re assembled becomes easier,” he says, noting that such thinking helps with decisions on erection, labor costs, and then material recapture.

One result of this approach was the use of Slimline building systems that combine the ceiling, hollow installation, and subfloor into one prefabricated panelized system. Mechanicals can be integrated into the hollow floor and remain permanently accessible. And should the building be repurposed down the road, such as for housing, the panels can be pulled apart and reconfigured, or disassembled for reuse.

At the Fox Vakanties building, Cradle to Cradle Certified products include Dow Styrofoam XPS insulation, Xero-Flor Moss Sedum, ACG glass, Rheinzink cladding, a BB-Lightconcepts LED Lightpipe System, Accoya wood siding, and Daas Baaksteen Zeddam BV ClickBrick on the exterior, along with Desso AirMaster EcoBase carpet, Shaw carpet and hardwood flooring, Interwand Intersmart wall systems, Saint Gobain Gyproc, and Royal Mosa wall and floor tiles on the interior.

The vibrant exterior of the structure draws inspiration from the world cultures to which it sends its travel customers; inspired by different bird species, the bold cladding colors make an eye-catching statement while also flooding the interiors with warm-colored light. Birdhouses are incorporated into vegetated walls, and the angle of the building provides shading. Common public spaces include a café and roof garden.

To see more images of Park 20|20, click here.