Cloud Garden’s story about Aeres Hogeschool Almere
The new building from Aeres University of Applied Sciences speaks green and fresh air! The greenery is the central element from ground level to rooftop. It connects the building’s five stories and ties in with the green layout of the Floriade site.
The eye-catcher of the new building in Almere is its green facade. It is built with the WallFlore Outdoor system provided by Cloud Garden and installed and maintained by the Koninklijke Ginkel Groep. A dedicated team does maintenance of the façade twice a year.
The WallFlore Outdoor System
Since the building is focused on circularity, the WallFlore outdoor system by Cloud Garden complements this vision accordingly. Due to the modularity of the system’s structure, the different elements of the panels can be refurbished, reused, and recycled resulting in a fully circular product. The metal basket is made from steel which generates an indefinite cycle of recycling. The rockwool substrate is used as a nutrient medium and water storage for the plants to grow. The foil serves as a fire protection layer so that the complete system including plants and rockwool has a fire safety classification of b-s1, d0. Since the system is easy to adapt to any project, additions such as insect hotels and bird houses could integrated.
The figure below shows the structure of a plant panel.
To ensure a constant water supply, drip lines are inserted between the plant panels which are connected to a fully automated irrigation system.
Water storage facilities have been installed both underground and on the roof. All rainwater is collected and spread out through the different drip lines to the plant panels via a smart, data-controlled, and web-based system. This intelligent water storage system is challenging and requires an innovative water management to release water precisely. Zero tap water is needed to irrigate the green façade.
Moreover, the water storage had to meet the municipality’s requirements to store water per m2 to relieve the municipality’s water drainage system. The water will only be drained to open waters once the building’s storage facilities are filled. It does not have a sewer system for rainwater. Since the requirements of the municipality were met, Aeres University of Applied Sciences’ vision to create a sustainable and climate-adaptive green building could be realized.
The Vegetation Plan
Drawing up the vegetation plan was a challenge aiming to meet the Floriade quality. The municipality and the Floriade team approved the artist’s impressions created by BDG Architects. The municipality expressed its wish to use as many plants as possible that start with the letter ‘L’. In doing so, a tree and plant library was created together with the Floriade Arboretum. The Aeres University of Applied Sciences’ goal was to support the local biodiversity of insects and birds. Therefore, insect hotels and bird houses have been integrated in the façade. This resulted in a distinctive vegetation plan forming an undisputedly unique school building. Plants were pre-grown for 8 weeks in a nursery in spring. Thus, a fully green plant panels could be hung on the façade.
A True Experience
The entire building is a true experience for people and animals – a space where senses are stimulated, and wildlife likes to stay. The green façade supports the local biodiversity, enhances rainwater absorption, reduces the inner-city heat island effect, and cools and isolates the actual building. By using preferably native plants, the natural vegetation is strengthened. This is reinforced through the integrated ‘bee ladder’ in the façade; a strategic planting plan developed by Aeres University’s students and tested by an ecologist to guide bees upwards through the plants and giving them a larger habitat to settle.
Integrating green in the built environment is one of the most effective adaption and mitigation strategy in the fight against climate change. Therefore, it is inevitable that the right nickname of the building is called “Green lung”. The building breathes oxygen inside and outside and provides fresh and clean air.
- 6 trees on the rooftop
- 000 plants on the rooftop with approx. 30 different native plant species.
- 082 plants on the façade
- 400 plants inside
- 100% of rainwater collected and reused or delayed drainage. 60% of rainwater is reused, 30% is delayed; saving about 50% of the tap water needed for the green façade
- 000 litres of water storage in the ground
- 600 litres of water storage on the rooftop
Want to know more about the companies, check out their websites!
8013 RL, Zwolle
+31(0)38 77 300 75
Koninklijke Ginkel Groep
3905 LW Veenendaal
+31(0)318 519 039