Brede School Zuidhorn
Energy efficiency was one of the key goals. One of the means to obtain that goal was thermal mass activation of the concrete floors that deliver a high thermal comfort and ensure low energy consumption. Thanks to the thermal mass activation, suspended ceiling systems are unnecessary and therefore the joint connections of structural elements are visible. This has two important effects. First of all, the children learn to understand how a building structure works. Secondly, the height of the classrooms could be maximized so that the optical difference in height between adults and children is minimized (which improves the mutual solidarity).
The classrooms are oriented to the south. In order to reduce the cooling load (due to direct sunlight) while ensuring maximum daylight and view, vertical ‘louvres’ in precast exposed concrete have been added to the south façade. The elements provide the desired shades, creating the effect of a sundial. The rhythm of the louvres continues inside in the in-situ concrete walls that separate the classrooms.
Recent earthquakes in the area of the school, the north of the Netherlands, have resulted in extra attention to earthquake resistant building. During the execution of the school, new guidelines (NPR 9998) were in preparation. The concrete structure had been designed with dilations, but finally executed without them, according to the latest knowledge and insight.