In the Stadskantoor in Venlo, designed in collaboration with the municipality, we were able to achieve a (provisional) maximum use of cradle to cradle materials of 80%. We wondered what it would take to raise that percentage. We decided not to wait for a client, but instead to ask ourselves: Is it possible to develop a 100% circular residential building that combines a sustainable lifestyle with luxury?
The 360 concept involves the sharing of facilities to provide more luxury to all. Dwellings are restored to their essence, so no more studies with sofa beds and home trainers, but work studios combined with communal facilities, such as a guest room with an 'en suite' bathroom that can be rented when necessary and a gym with a swimming pool.
People enjoy living in the city centre, but they also want to be part of a small-scale community. The 360 concept includes small neighbourhoods of about 30 residences. Each neighbourhood has its own collective garden and communal spaces in which residents can meet. The dwellings are flexible in size and suitable for singles, couples, families and the elderly.
Everyone wants to contribute to the circular economy – as long as it doesn’t take too much time and money. The 360 concept comes with an effortlessly sustainable lifestyle: 100% sustainable energy, a building that cleans the city air, healthy recyclable materials, local food, easy waste separation and sustainable mobility are all part of the service package. The core incorporates a vertical farm for growing vegetables over the full height of the building. There is also a tool library from which residents can borrow DIY tools and kitchen equipment.
This level of innovation can only be achieved through a critical, integrated approach. First we asked our partners to supplement our expertise in various areas. We worked with Motivaction to examine demand and existing target groups; we found several large target groups that were keen to share tools and equipment as well as spaces. We developed the structural and energy concept with Royal Haskoning DHV and the Brink Group helped us elaborate a feasibility study on the sharing of facilities and spaces.
The development of the 360 concept has a number of positive effects. We gained new insights by bringing together various experts around a central question. We tested the feasibility of our innovative concept against market research and against various calculated business cases. We created a new earning model. We expanded our knowledge of circular building. The integrated knowledge has led to a model in which the tower generates rather than consumes energy. After realization, the 360 will not only have a positive effect on the circular economy, but also on the social cohesion among residents.
David Hess, Vincent van der Meulen