|Installation m²:||655 m²|
“The nice thing about carpet is that it doesn’t produce any noise, it feels pleasant and is also good for allergies.”
The ‘Most Sustainable School’ in the Netherlands
The Veldhuizerschool in Ede was named the ‘Most Sustainable School’ in the Netherlands in 2012. The school is one of the first sustainable schools in the Netherlands and saves on average 80% of energy. Carpet tiles provided by Interface were deliberately chosen when designing the interior due to the sustainability of the flooring.
For the last two and a half years the Veldhuizerschool has been housed in a new building at Kraatsweg in Ede. Previously, the primary school was located in a building dating back to 1932, consisting of one long corridor with classrooms leading off. This building was high-maintenance, had become too small and was not modern enough from an educational viewpoint, which made it more viable for the Veldhuizerschool to move to a new property. After eight years of planning, building and then moving, the time had finally come: a new start in a new and fresh school building.
The Veldhuizerschool is a ‘fresh school’, designed and built according to the passive house concept. This means that the building has been built entirely without floor heating, radiators or gas connection, but is heated by the children and employees themselves. The property is very well insulated due to the 40cm thick walls and triple glazing, while the lighting and ventilation are on fully-automatic presence detection in the classrooms. There was an 80% primary energy saving in building The Veldhuizerschool when compared with similar new builds which comply only with the minimum requirements of Dutch Building Regulations. Geertje van de Put, head teacher of the Veldhuizerschool, explains: “The building is comparable to a Thermos flask: the children themselves heat the school and the system ensures that the heat remains, and that the air is refreshed every hour.”
For the design of the new school, a select group of employees were brought together to form the ‘design group’. Together with Jorissen Simonetti Architects, they looked at the layout of the new building and decided to keep the walls light, and to place the emphasis on the flooring. Geertje explains the choice of flooring: “I didn’t have to be persuaded to choose soft-carpeted flooring. Our old building was also carpeted and we really liked it. The nice thing about carpet is that they don’t produce any noise, they feel pleasant and are also good for allergies. That’s why we’ve chosen to lay carpet in most of our classrooms and offices. Because of all the sustainable aspects of the new building, the architect proposed the idea of using Interface carpet tiles.”
Throughout the whole school, the flooring is made up of stripes of about two meters wide in three different colours: blue, green and yellow. This way, the school is seen as a whole and no distinction is made between the lower, middle and upper school. “When you walk through the school, it’s great to come across kids sitting on the floor playing or reading. This is all possible thanks to Interface’s nice carpet. In addition, the carpet with the various stripes is also very handy.
“Research from the German Asthma and Allergy Association (DAAB) showed that carpet retains particles better, so that they do not circulate and less dust particles return to the breathing zone compared to hard floor coverings.”
Teachers often use it to make groups, ‘all the children seated on blue are in group 1, etc. ‘ When asked about the choice of carpet, my response is always: because of the acoustics, the appearance and the hygiene.”
Interface and ‘Sustainable Schools’ ‘The Technical Specifications for Sustainable Schools’ – an initiative of the Dutch Enterprise Agency, consists of various elements that serve as guidelines for sponsors of new and refurbished schools. Interface’s carpet tiles contribute to the reduction of ‘Emissions and dust distribution from construction and interior design materials’. Geanne van Arkel, Sustainable Business Development Interface: “Research from the German Asthma and Allergy Association (DAAB) showed that carpet retains particles better, so that they do not circulate and less dust particles return to the breathing zone compared to hard floor coverings.”
Carpet tiles also contribute to the ‘acoustic comfort’ of areas. Carpet reduces noise and improves the acoustics for a more pleasant work and learning environment.