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The new head office of dryer and cooler manufacturer Geelen Counterflow in Haelen, The Netherlands was given a 99.94-percent score in the BREEAM certification system, using the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREAAM). It's not a verdict to ignore, as this method is the world's most renowned sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings.

What makes this Dutch office so much better than all the other is... actually, quite a few things. For one thing, the building - that can accommodate 50 office employees - generates 50 percent more solar energy than it requires to run all the processes (including heating, air conditioning, lighting and computers). The excess energy is very welcome in the factory, where it's used for laser cutting of stainless steel and recharging of electric forklift trucks.

The office building is constructed out of wood (which is well known to be the construction material with the lowest CO2 footprint) and other materials that are harmless to the environment and can even be re-used once their time is up.

The interiror design is highly mindful of employee's health, making sure the air quality is proper, as well as indoor lighting, while one of the most interesting things inside the building is a green wall, made of living plants.

April 18, 2016 Living photo: John Sondeyker via Engineering and Technology Magazine

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