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Casella, Hilversum

Energy friendly building services concept, keeping the historic features intact

This historic farmstead is part of the Monnikenberg estate, where the congregation of the Augustinian Sisters of Saint Monica is settled. Casella consists of a renovation and new building, designed by GVB Architects, that provides the nuns with a reflection centre annex.

The annex has a residential area, a chapel, an apartment for guests, a  quiet room and a barn.

Arup's building services concept fitted the farmstead's heritage structure and resulted in a comfortable energy efficient accomodation. 

We reduced costs and saved energy by making use of simple solutions, such as energy efficient insulation material that would fit easily into the building. By integrating services into the building, we preserved the farmstead's historic value and increased the overall value of the building.

Ventilation is provided by a demand-driven system as well as opening windows, which enhance the connection to Casella's the green surroundings. The warmth from the ventilation air is used to heat tap water.

Our design for the building services makes use of low-temperature heating. Each of Casella's buildings has a tailor-made heating system, fed by a central distribution system. This keep costs and energy consumption low, with integrated photovoltaic panels in the glass roof meeting a part of the electricity demand.

Reusing grey water from the shower or washing machine and harvesting rainwater also reduces the use of potable water.

By fitting the technical facilities into the building, the monumental value was kept intact and the value of the buildings as a whole was even increased.