Tridos Bank De Reehorst rewarded with BREEAM Outstanding with displays of ground breaking developments in sustainability and circular potential

Beautiful estate De Reehorst is the décor where the Triodos foundation was established in 1971. The development and design of the building is in complete harmony with the surrounding nature and environment of the 27,5 hectare estate.

BREEAM Outstanding (94.32%)
NL New Build and Renovation 2014
Architect: RAU
Building Services: Deerns (advisor)
Contractor: J.P. van Eesteren
Assessor Company: Remko van Gijzen – Techniplan Adviseurs bv

About the Project

12,994 square meter of office space fully embracing its natural environment. EDGE latest development at ‘De Reehorst’ is groundbreaking in terms of sustainability and circularity, and the home of Triodos Bank – one of the world’s most sustainable banking companies.

Beautiful estate De Reehorst is the décor where the Triodos foundation was established in 1971. The development and design of the building is in complete harmony with the surrounding nature and environment of the 27,5 hectare estate. By building this new office, added value was created to the existing surrounding environment and tangibly add extra hectares of nature.

The innovative building is completely demountable and therefore has a complete circular potential. The building is energy neutral, constructed from reusable and reused materials and has a wooden construction. It can be completely deconstructed and rebuild elsewhere as it is demountable. Additionally, the building provides its users with a comfortable work environment with natural shapes and materials. The glass façade provides a 360 outlook onto the estate and brings the outside in. In particular, much attention has been given to accompany the natural day light with light fixtures that complement and adjust as the day proceeds. Thermal and acoustic comfort is provided to all building users, which provides ideal conditions for high performance.

Besides the groundbreaking construction and design, the new Triodos office building will give a sustainable and economic impulse to the surrounding environment. As part of the integral area development of the Driebergen-Zeist station area, the office contributes to the value of the estate and the quality of the Nature Network in the Netherlands (NNN). Beyond its local value creation, the building is a leading example for other buildings and the sector at large.

After years of a thorough preparation phase, the building has been completed in September 2019. The project was a unique, open and transparent cooperation between municipality, nature conservancy partners and Triodos, with EDGE as the developing lead in the process. An “umbrella deal” was created between ProRail, local government, the Reehorst Foundation and other significant partners. The key success factor for the development was the synergy that arose as a result of all stakeholders being truly engaged.

Goals and Ambitions of the Development

  • The balanced development of nature, culture and economy was the primary focus during every phase of the building’s design, development and construction
  • Set an example for sustainable construction and design
  • Create a project that is energy neutral on a building and user level
  • Positive sustainable and economic impulses to the estate De Reehorst and its surroundings
  • Receive a BREEAM Outstanding certification
  • The development of a building that aligns with the vision and mission of Triodos Bank: hereby contributing to sustainability on all topics and have a positive impact on the world with this development
  • Develop an ideal place to work and meet for anyone who views money as a means with which to generate a positive impact. Create a place surrounded by nature, where visitors and employees alike feel alive and inspired.

Key Features

Allowing the building to be completely demountable, 100% circular potential and designed with great organic shapes. People feel more happy and relaxed due to the biophilic design.

Makes the development of the building unique. A different approach to building is shown and displayed in the design with perfect harmony between building and its natural surroundings.

Examples: the building doesn’t exceed the tree line, old trees were preserved, bat routes were taken into account in the design and sight axis remained unaffected. It’s reflected in organic shapes and structures of the building, bio mimicry principles, green rooftops and high transparency.

Beyond being nature-inclusive, the development is an impulse for the surrounding nature and wider area, strengthening the connection between two national ecological structures (Kromme Rijngebied and Utrechtse Heuvelrug). It showcases how construction and nature can converge, with mutual positive impact as a result.

Part of the new office is the world’s first smart charging system, enabling bidirectional charging services and creating flexible energy storage of solar energy by means of the batteries of electric vehicles that charge here.

The building is energy neutral on building level and user level because of the heat and cold storage system, PV roof above the parking lot, high isolation values and smart design.

About the BREEAM Assessment

The project underwent a BREEAM certification as part of the joint ambition to create one of the most sustainable buildings so far, making this a measurable target through the certification. The BREEAM certification was also a good way to prove that the use of innovative building techniques and materials lead to a significant increase in the sustainable performance of the building.

The decision to strive for a BREEAM certification was a joint decision between Triodos Bank and EDGE. Developments by EDGE undergo a BREEAM certification by standard.

As a result of BREEAM, the contractor was pushed to organize, plan, research and document even more than they are used to, in order to obtain the high ambitions. The certification is truly a joint effort since all parties needed to contribute and work together on this, not only the contractors and the design team, but the client and user as well. All parties involved together have taken the project to a higher level.


“The high ambitions of this project resulted in extra effort by both the design team as well as the contractor to get the right valuation for the circular building. A good example is the structure of cross laminated timber. The standard calculation of the environmental impact did not show a big advantage of wood/CLT compared to concrete. This was unsatisfactory and the design team researched what conditions were needed to make sure the CLT structure could be valued more adequately. The contractor used these recommendations to order the CLT-supplier to deliver a) a CLT structure with a low environmental impact, and b) proof in the form of a specific LCA calculation. This knowledge is now also available for other buildings.”

Mirjam Peters, Consultant Building Physics and Sustainability at DGMR

Green Strategy

Beyond the building itself, the development provides a sustainable and economic impulse to the surrounding environment. The intensive collaboration between the project team, ProRail, the Province of Utrecht and the municipalities Utrechtse Heuvelrug and Zeist has led to the integral plan for the area development of the Driebergen-Zeist station area. As part of this integral area development plan, the development of the Triodos office adds value to the estate and the quality of the larger NNN network, of which it is part of. Therefore, the impulses given to the area will positively benefit the area on larger scale too. By having the ambition for a BREEAM Outstanding certificate the construction of this building was also deemed to be truly sustainable and served as an extra argument to approve the construction by the abovementioned involved public parties.

Additionally, this development is an example for the real estate sector to develop projects in harmony with the surrounding nature, giving a boost to the surrounding environment. The building could not have been created without a continuous stakeholder dialogue. This enabled us to maintain a great balance between economy, ecology and cultural/historic values on the estate and its surroundings.

Benefits of BREEAM

“By defining the ambition to receive a BREEAM Outstanding certification, we were able to motivate all parties involved in the project to put high effort in the project and test innovative construction methods and materials. This has led to a proven super sustainable redevelopment of the estate and office building for Triodos Bank.”

Constantijn Berning, Executive Development Director at EDGE

Outcomes & Achievements

The convergence of nature and the built environment makes this development a leading example and relevant showcase for other buildings. It shows what can be achieved in a unique multi-stakeholder collaboration between municipality, nature conservancy partners, client, partners and EDGE.

With the development, the connections between the main ecological structures of the Nature Network in the Netherlands (NNN) were optimised, while adding 2,5 hectares of forest. The result is a boost of biodiversity and a long-term contribution to a vivid, natural environment, that attracts both wildlife and new visitors. The additional highly valued walking routes and attractive sightlines have contributed to visitor awareness on the value of this area and its preservation.

The building showcases that it can provide in its own energy demand with renewable energy sources and a low energy footprint: a modern, high tech and sustainable building. The project shows to our sector we can make use of circular materials, decreasing pressure on existing resources. The wooden structure makes the building completely demountable and every single material that was used in construction can be found in a material passport, making it easier to apply circularity in practice.

The building is energy neutral, providing in its own energy demand with the heat and cold storage system and solar panels. Additionally, the building’s efficient design contributes to its low energy footprint. The external bidirectional EV-loading facility provides a flexible storage space for the renewable energy sources.

  • Office building of the Year 2019’ – Architectenweb
  • ‘Most sustainable project of 2019’ – Cobouw Awards
  • ‘Nature Inclusive Construction & Design-award’ – Vogelbescherming Nederland en Zoogdiervereniging (Bird Protection Netherlands and Mammal Association)
  • ‘Most sustainable project in The Netherlands 2020; Gouden Kikker Award (The Golden Frog-award) – Duurzaam Bouwen Awards.
  • Special Mention in the category ‘Climate Change, Resilience & Sustainability’ at the 2020 ULI Europe Awards for Excellence

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