Atlas Tours

Atlas before renovationAfter reopening

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The new main-building at the TU/e campus, called Atlas, is one of the most sustainable educational buildings in the world! However, At GO Green Office TU/e we think it is important to not only design sustainable buildings. We also believe it’s important to educate students and staff from the university to use and interact with these buildings in a sustainable manner. This is why GO Green Office gives tours through the new main building Atlas on the topic of sustainability.

Are you interested in learning more about Atlas and sustainability? Check out the subjects below!

In science, the content of the message outweighs the exterior form by which it is brought into the world. Current publications fail to impress upon prospective readers and colorful covers are believed  to be an inappropriate way to attract attention. Dissertations, including ones published in Eindhoven, tend to appear in obligatory, insignificant or glaring wrappings that are hardly connected to their contents at all. Fortunately, there are still books with attractive covers, and an artist Gijs Frieling has selected sixteen of them are now painted on the walls of Atlas building, forming murals. The collected covers are from a period of time that roughly coincides with the total life span of the Atlas building, including the approximately six decades that preceded the current renovation from the mid-1950s onwards.

The context for this work of art is a building with the typical characteristics of post-war reconstruction architecture. A building, that in its original form could have carried off artistic additions like mosaic, graffito or intarsia quite well. The architectural language spoken in this building is the language of the engineer, feeling at ease with the industry. This is why the creators of Atlas originally chose concrete, steel and glass, everything being normalized and as transparent of expression as possible. Now that the “Main Building” is transformed into new “Atlas”, the architectural identity of the building is altered as well. The work of art is therefore very present, not as a motif that competes with the building, but as a simultaneous composition in visual surfaces.

The glass curtain wall spectacularly combines the old-fashioned aesthetics of transparency with an extremely new-school physical efficiency in terms of light entry and climate. The windows can be operated individually and are provided with triple heat-resistant glazing, the inside of which is clad with a fabric that provides both indoor heat resistance and light resistance. The Rc value of this façade equals a double-skin façade and, in case the shading is lowered at night, the thermal value of the façade measures up to that of an insulated cavity wall. Using this type of curtain wall allows the preservation of as much of the existing construction as possible (adding to the sustainability of the project and lowering the costs), while the requirements with regard to energy consumption and daylight are amply met. The windows are connected to the weather station, which will cause them all to close in case of severe outdoor conditions or also in case of fire. Current design, by allowing opening of the windows parallel to the façade, creates bigger opening area for improved ventilation and prevents drafts, enhancing the indoor comfort of the occupants. 

Philips Connected Office Lighting that is installed in Atlas is the world’s first complete Power-over-Ethernet connected lighting system for offices. It offers employees the possibility to personally control their lighting via their smartphone and gives building managers insight into the use of the building. The lighting is by default set on 100lux; when occupancy is detected, the light intensity increases to 300lux. With the use of the app, it is possible to increase the intensity of the lamp above your work desk up to 500lux. This system is expected to save 40-60% of energy used for the entire building. Moreover, the information from the occupancy sensors can be used in various ways in the future, for example to make cleaning more efficient (areas that haven’t been occupied don’t need to be cleaned), to indicate the closest empty meeting room (with the help of an app) or many other.

Did you know that:

  • Occupant behavior can affect energy consumption by up to a factor of two in dwellings with similar theoretical energy performances?
  • Atlas was the biggest building in the Netherlands when it was first opened in 1963?
  • 400 000kg of steel has been reused for the new design of Atlas?

Get to know more about the sustainable educational building by subscribing for a tour! Send an e-mail to gogreenoffice@tue.nl