Search through our project references and topicals to discover more about EPDM.
ICONIC DESIGN IN HARMONY WITH NATURE
Built between 1999 and 2004 with a look that is as futuristic and stunning now as at the moment of its inauguration, the McLaren Technology Centre symbolizes the company’s design and engineering expertise, coupled with a sustainable approach to architecture. Years later, we look again at the project to analyze the features of this architectural gem, with a special focus on its rooftop.
The Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre on the edge of the Cotswolds nature reserve is home to the largest private collection of trees and plants in England. The collections at Batsford cover a wide range of plants from around the world, with an emphasis on the Far East. With an illustrious past dating back to the late 19th century, the Arboretum commissioned a £2M redevelopment project in 2011 with a strong focus on sustainability. A new visitors’ centre was part of that plan, housing a garden shop and a terrace café, with an impressive wavy roof as a true eye-catcher.
How do you imagine the residential neighborhood of the future? Design criteria aside, part of your answer is probably: it should be environmentally friendly. For La Petite Halle, a neighborhood of passive buildings near Luzarches, France, the architect achieved energetic independence of buildings and efficient management of renewable resources by making the most of flat rooftop surfaces.
Contemporary architecture and sustainability are becoming inseparable. The energy efficiency of buildings, the sustainable use of construction materials and the ways in which buildings can contribute to reducing the impact of climate change are inspiring and motivating architects across the world. The extension of the Free Waldorf School in Berlin is one of those cases that makes us dream of a well designed, eco-friendly tomorrow.
Sometimes renovations can be more challenging than new builds. This is especially the case when you’re operating in an area with safety restrictions and with no possibility of closing down the building for the duration of the works. If you add 25,000 m2 of roof surface to the equation, it’s clear that the chosen solution must enable a fast and agile way of working. For the maintenance hangar of Air France at the Charles de Gaulle airport, EPDM was the solution.
Centuries ago, tulip bulbs were so precious that they were more expensive than houses. And while today the ‘tulip mania’ is nothing more but a historical anecdote, the delicate nature of flower bulbs still requires special growing and storing conditions. Royal de Ree Holland is a leading Dutch producer of flower bulbs whose giant factory building in Lisserbroek needed a thorough roof makeover to ensure optimal interior conditions. The plan also included fully embracing sustainability by going carbon-neutral and energetically independent.
Encon is an independent Belgian consultancy firm specialized in sustainability. In 2018, the company moved to a brand-new office called Infinity. Awarded with a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and a LEED ‘Gold’ score, Infinity is one of the few office buildings in the world to combine these two ratings. In Encon’s case, ‘practice what you preach’ is definitely not an empty statement.
Gracing the hills around the city of Tbilisi, the Meama Coffee Factory is a sight to behold. Combining futuristic elements but still abiding by the shape of the surrounding hills, the L-shaped structure features folded exterior concrete walls, angled glazed walls, numerous skylights and atriums and an impressive green roof. All of this leads us to posing the question: whoever said a factory should look grey and dull?
Spurred on by a growing population problem and the prospect of a changing climate, the Rotterdam city council partnered with Public Domain Architects to bring the future to the district of Feijenoord. They took on a challenge that only few architects have dared to undertake - to build an entire neighbourhood on the most whimsical of all surfaces: water.
On the riverbanks of the Daugava in Riga rests the Castle of Light, a striking Latvian landmark that houses the National Library of Latvia. Despite its nickname, the building is not a crumbling stone fortress, but rather a mountainous looking structure with a reflective surface, rising 68 meters above the river. However, the Castle of Light holds more than just an abundance of books and knowledge. It holds its own against the harsh Baltic climate.
In Northern France, near Lille, lies the town of Courcelles-lès-Lens. Its population had outgrown the local library, so in an effort to accommodate the needs of its new citizens, the local government put out a call for architects to reimagine the site of an abandoned supermarket and transform it into a modern media library. The resulting structure is a sleek, modern companion to French provincial town life.
A project by Center Parcs in the North of Belgium, the Terhills Resort has recently opened its doors to the public. Located near the borders of the Netherlands and Germany, the holiday park was a large undertaking for all parties involved. Not only are the 250 cottages all unique in size and features, the Terhills Resort was also built with sustainable initiatives at the forefront.
A landmark of Germany’s industrial past, the Augsburger Kammgarn Spinnerei has undergone a state-of-the-art upgrade, blossoming into a modern retail and office space. The resulting complex now serves as a showpiece for the city of Augsburg, even yielding them the 2016 Honorary Award for Building Culture of the München Metropolitan Region.
Waste is a very important topic in discussions on fighting climate change. Reducing, reusing and recycling are the imperatives valid that apply to everyone, and on whatever scale. Still, there are domains that should pay special attention to the materials use. Construction is certainly one of those domains, with construction and demolition waste (CDW) accounting for approximately 25% - 30% of all waste generated in the EU. EPDM can help significantly reduce the environmental impact of buildings. Here’s why.
A flat or low slope roof assembly consists of several components that need to work together efficiently and consistently to offer a long-term, sustainable solution. While the roofing membrane is often the top and therefore most visible layer, what lies under it has a significant impact on the overall roof performance. Choosing the right materials (and ensuring their proper installation) is what makes a roof stand the test of time and be ready for the challenges of the future.
Our buildings become symbolic of the times we live in, reflecting the spirit of a given era, attending to different needs, lifestyles, functions… “Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness”, says one of the most prominent architects of our time, Frank Gehry. Exploration of the emerging technological possibilities and imagining how a new value can be created in people’s lives, have been the guiding principles of the architectural pioneers compelled to respond to the challenges of their time. Today’s key challenge - sustainability - is adding new dimensions to the debate, bringing together form, function, the responsible choice of materials and long-term thinking. Keeping up has never been more important.
Roofs represent about 20–25% of the total urban surface area. What is particularly visible on satellite photos is that we are not making the most of our roofs yet: more often than not, they stay empty. At the same time, as cities continue to grow and expand, becoming warmer and noisier in the process, roofs are expected to go beyond their primary function of ensuring watertightness. More than just “covers” on top of buildings, they need to contribute to their energetic efficiency, sustainability and overall reduction of the environmental impact. Green roofs are among the best solutions that address all these needs.
The impact of extreme weather caused by climate change is becoming one of the major business risks of today. More frequent hail storms, hurricanes, record high and low temperatures, droughts and flooding - among others - are affecting us all and the buildings we occupy. Finding solutions to mitigate these risks is of the highest importance.
Creating energy-efficient buildings is at the forefront of the construction agenda today. The emphasis is not only on implementing sustainable architecture practices aimed at reducing the amount of energy that buildings need to operate, but also exploring the generation of energy on the buildings themselves. Solar or photovoltaic (PV) installations have been gaining popularity in the last few decades as a renewable energy source to power commercial and industrial buildings, but also offices and homes.
One of the goals of circular economy is to bring a solution to the issue posed by the growing demand and the limited availability of resources. Circularity involves redesigning a system or a product to eliminate waste and keep them in use for as long as possible. At the end of their service life, it needs to be possible to reuse and/or recycle products, so that the carbon loop can be closed. The principles of circular economy have already been successfully applied to several products, from electronic goods to clothing, but to a lesser extent for construction and building components.
The construction industry is increasingly looking into ways of becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly. "Green" buildings that are resilient in the face of climate change and are engineered to benefit both current and future generations have become desirable and sound investments. Architects, building owners and even their occupants are encouraged to take a more sustainable and cost-effective approach, both on new build and renovation projects.