August 2020 - The growth of the global economy is exerting unsustainable pressure on the planet's natural resources. The problem can only get worse. By thinking circularly and re-using materials, we become less dependent on scarce raw materials and less vulnerable to shortages and changing market prices.
Galvanised steel can make a positive contribution to circular construction solutions. Galvanised steel structures have a long service life and, as long as they can be disassembled, they are ideal for re-use.
Knowledge centre on a mountain of waste
A good example of a sustainable and circular building is the Energy Knowledge Centre in Leeuwarden. The building is located on the former Skinkeskâns waste mountain and it serves as a landmark for the new Energy Campus.
Building on a landfill is a challenge. That is why it was decided to construct a light building that floats, as it were, on a foundation of 108 galvanised steel columns. In order to distribute the load as evenly as possible, the steel foundation columns are attached to a grid of galvanised steel beams below the ground floor. In addition, the height of the foundation columns can be adjusted to compensate for any subsidence in the subsurface.
Galvanised steel was an obvious choice
Because the building had to be light, the decision to use steel and wood made perfect sense. And it was equally obvious that hot-dip galvanising was needed to protect the steel against corrosion.
In addition, the natural grey shade of the galvanised beams is a perfect match for the wood used indoors and the greyish wood of the building's louvred façade.
Good communications: prevention is better than cure
Construction and technical installation company K. Stok & Sons supplied the steel structure. Rotocoat hot-dip galvanised the steel columns, beams and stairs. In addition, Rotocoat hot-dip galvanised the cradle-to-cradle certified steel façade gratings, platform gratings and deck gratings used in and around the building.
There were constant consultations with the steel builder about the dimensions of the steel structure and where the holes should be. Since the entire steel structure is visible, clear agreements were made about how the columns had to be double-dip galvanised to prevent visually unappealing seams.
The pavilion is clearly visible from the ring road of Leeuwarden and there is a great deal of interest in it. And when the building is eventually dismantled, the entire steel structure can be taken apart and used again in another building. That is sustainable and circular!
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