Latitude/Longitude: 52.6361, 4.74633
The building is characterised by a complex structure, partly the result of the necessary close proximity of the fireman’s rooms to the depot in a volume that must conform to stringent town planning conditions.
A design was chosen that runs from its abutment with the council offices up towards the railway tracks, rising to a height of about 20 metres, thereby accentuating the entrance to the city centre. The highest point of the design is removed as far as possible from the council offices. The council wished for a high point marking the entrance to the city of Alkmaar.
Social safety was taken into account when creating the design. The design contains very few recesses or corners to avoid creating ‘unsafe’ places. There is parking on the roof, out of sight of the ground floor. The visible strong slanting line on the front and back of the building forms the access ramp for the parking.
Energy Neutral Building
LIAG and the municipality of Alkmaar joined forces in an ambitious plan for a sustainable and energy efficient building. The municipality of Alkmaar has the policy that all its buildings must perform 20% better than the applicable legal norms. Additionally, the municipality of Alkmaar requires a minimum score of a clear pass (7.0) per theme for the GPR building (Municipal – Performance – Guideline). The new building project more than amply satisfies the objectives in this area with an average score of 7.9 and scoring a ‘good’ on average.
Aside from a balanced choice in materials with attention for environmental impact in manufacturing and recycling, use has been made of building elements that due to their size and detail can easily be reused and fit within the vision of ‘Cradle-to-Cradle’ building. In this way, all the windows of the offices are one size and a high degree of repetition of elements has been chosen in the façade. Many of these elements can easily be reused at the end of their current useful life-cycle.
Use is made of underground thermal energy storage (UTES) to achieve a pleasant and comfortable indoor climate using a minimum of energy. In order to further utilize this system the parking deck is used as a solar collector. Water hoses will be built into the parking deck to pump water heated by the sun into the ground so that cold water can be pumped up to be used to cool in summer, and warm during winter, the building of 8,500 m2 gfa and the adjoining council offices of 12,500 m2 gfa. This system means that a new boiler is not required for the 8,500 m2 of additional functions. All energy required by the fire station and the Brijder care centre for addicts will come from the UTES installation. Additionally, the UTES system can be used to keep the parking deck ice-free in winter. This building design actually works as an energy/climate plant with general functions for the municipality of Alkmaar.
Contributed by LIAG architects
⇒ Architecture Guide to ALKMAAR