Case study: OdyZeeschool

Energy-neutral school proves to be very comfortable

The first energy-neutral school in the Netherlands was opened in Goes. The OdyZeeschool new construction was designed and built in compliance with recommendations by the PassiefBouwen Foundation. Innovative technologies keep energy consumption low. “The school building is not only sustainable, it is also very comfortable,” according to project coordinator Koert Vahlkamp.
The client set the bar very high: The building had to be energy-neutral, with low energy needs, maximum use of solar heat and sunlight and its own energy generation. The building was given a "skin" with a high insulation value (Rc = 10 m²K/W) with 20 cm insulation in the walls, windows with triple thermal insulated glass and airtight door and window frames in order to avoid heat loss due to unchecked ventilation. Thermal management is monitored and seasonal. In the winter solar heat is let in as much as possible, in the summer it is kept out or only allowed in on the cooler north side. Use of daylight is maximised (see "Lighting: economical, pleasant and stimulating"). Solar panels and solar boilers fully cover the building's energy needs.
“The building is fully draught-free, which is ideal for this target group.”

Special needs pupils, high comfort requirements

Zero energy does not result in concessions in terms of comfort. “As it happens, comfort was one of the basic assumptions,” explains Vahlkamp. “Since OdyZee is a school for children with learning difficulties, primarily autism (ASS). These children are easily distracted by environmental stimuli and are extra sensitive to draught and temperature fluctuations, which is why passive construction was also the right choice. The uniform high insulation values for roof, walls, windows and doors provides an even, pleasant surface temperature. The ingenious balance ventilation makes the building fully draught-free. We also used soft colours, neutral materials, suitable lighting and acoustic ceilings and walls.” With respect to the five quality criteria for the Frisse Scholen hallmark, OdyZee scores "very good".


Lighting: economical, pleasant and stimulating

Given the targeted quality level the bids for each component were judged very critically. The same applies to lighting. Koert Vahlkamp: “ETAP had the best planned answer to our requirements in terms of light distribution and energy consumption. They developed a specially adapted plan with energy-efficient, fluorescent lighting with dimmable high-frequency ballasts and luminaires in discreet colours and materials. The classrooms for example, have suspended luminaires with integrated uplight, which tie in perfectly with the acoustic ceilings.”
The lighting is also connected to a control system that dims and switches off the light wherever and whenever possible. Vahlkamp: “The light is adjusted on the basis of various measurement data such as time of day, amount of daylight, type of activity or detected absence. We are also able to adjust individually where necessary. One of the system's attractive details: it reports exactly how much energy is saved where, which is highly stimulating.”

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