Blog

Triodos Bank: A Material Bank

Author: Marijn Emanuel, Madaster

Triodos Bank's new head office was completed and entered into service in the autumn of 2019. For architectural firm RAU, this was already the third head office they designed for Triodos, whose growth shows that sustainable entrepreneurship can be both responsible and profitable. The bank’s first head office building, which entered into service in the late 1990s, was characterised by the reuse of bricks from a school building that had been demolished. At that time, second-hand bricks were available for free, whereas these days they are the most expensive type of bricks. For the Triodos Bank's new head office, this strategy was elaborated further. The leading aspect in the design and construction of this new building was future reuse, by creating a construction that could be dismantled and reassembled — thus, preserving value. 

‘We think of buildings as organised material depots. This building was set up in such a way that, in the future, everyone will be able to harvest everything from it, without any loss of value. And all the materials stored in this depot are individually registered in Madaster, in terms of their name, origins, composition and quantity’.  – Thomas Rau, RAU architects

This time, the building’s character consists of wood rather than bricks, giving the new head office its aesthetic and future value. The office, built by JP van Eesteren, is also known as the wooden cathedral and was developed by JOIN, a joint venture of Triodos Bank and EDGE. In an integrated collaboration between all parties in the development and construction process, the required material passport was generated in Madaster. For al those involved, this was the first time that such a registration of materials and products was so thoroughly done, and this opportunity was seized as a joint learning event — for all to learn as much as possible about the whole process of registration, and to achieve the highest possible quality of data registration. 

Under leadership of Imardo de Blok of EDGE, main contractor JP van Eesteren took on the role of project manager. Together with Bosman Bedrijven, JP van Eesteren’s BIM managers organised all the necessary IFC files of the subcontractors and suppliers, at the required data quality, to be able to hand over a proper material passport to the client, Triodos Bank.

The learning process took place at all levels, and the final objective was achieved in a process of trial and error. The fact that the various stakeholders were not familiar with the process played a role, especially in the beginning. Gathering the right information and IFC files from the subcontractors was also a considerable hurdle to take, in this large project. The experiences of Jeroen Koomen and Rob van de Ent of JP van Eesteren resulted in a clear stepwise procedure, guaranteeing an efficient process in which information is retrieved and entered into Madaster.

‘We were able to create a material passport in which the building is registered at a high level of detail, in close consultation with both EDGE and Madaster during the creation of the passport. During this process, we utilised the various production models of our suppliers as much as possible’. - Jeroen Koomen, J.P. van Eesteren

For EDGE, Triodos Bank's new head office building was the first major construction project for which they helped to create a material passport in Madaster and control the process. 

‘In Triodos Bank’s new head office building, with its great ambitions regarding sustainability and collaboration, we saw a unique opportunity to create a high-quality material passport together with all partners involved.’ - Imardo de Blok, EDGE

EDGE has expressed very clear ambitions with respect to circularity with which they want to convince the market of this necessary step. Material passports for each building, registered in Madaster, are a permanent feature in this process. A number of projects are already in the pipeline, including the new government building (Rijkskantoor) in Eindhoven, EDGE Amsterdam West in Amsterdam Sloterdijk, and the Valley in Amsterdam Zuid. Moreover, a material passport has already been created for EDGE Olympic Amsterdam and can be found on the Madaster platform. 

For Triodos Bank, reuse of materials and value retention of investments were core values in the development of its new head office building. The architecture and sustainability awards that the building recently received show that this principle can lead to high-quality architecture. Architecture that embraces circular construction principles, and that is created through close collaboration within the chain from client and developer to subcontractors and suppliers. For RAU, EDGE and Triodos Bank, one of the starting points in the entire process was that of architecture being a platform for innovation, for learning and for knowledge development. This original concept has now been set in motion, among all those involved, such as EDGE, JP van Eesteren, Bosman Bedrijven as well as many others. 

Marijn Emanuel, Productowner Madaster