Paul de Ruiter
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Unilever Global Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen wins two international BREEAM awards

March 4, 2019 International awards ceremony

Today in London, the Unilever Global Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen netted two prestigious BREEAM Awards – the international prize for sustainable construction – in partnership with the team from construction company Dura Vermeer. In addition to the Global Design Award in the Commercial Project Design category, Unilever also received the Global Public Award, chosen by the public.

The innovative and sustainable project developed by Unilever and Dura Vermeer was chosen by an expert panel of judges from projects across the world, all of which excel in terms of sustainability performance and innovation and have been certified with the world’s popular sustainability hallmark for buildings: BREEAM.

The judging panel’s assessment

The new building was praised by the judging panel for its comprehensive package of sustainable measures in which the entire project team had been involved from start to finish. The design focused particularly on the themes of health, flexibility, energy consumption, use of materials and circularity, which also resulted in an Outstanding design certificate. In addition to these themes, the judging panel was particularly impressed by the inspirational working areas and open look and feel that deliberately invites innovation. Considered to be a state-of-the-art facility for healthier and sustainable nutritional innovations, the building also proved a hit with the general public. It gained most votes in the Your BREEAM Award category, resulting in the second prize of the evening.

One of the world's most sustainable buildings

With a score of more than 90%, the Global Foods Innovation Centre is the most sustainable design in this building category. Based on the campus of Wageningen University, the Unilever building will be one of the world’s most sustainable multifunctional buildings ever built. Together with Paul de Ruiter Architects and other partners*, the Dura Vermeer team was selected for the design and construction of this unique building in 2017. Unilever chose them because of their vision of the construction process, the design and the innovative elements.

Patrick Kip, Project Lead, Dura Vermeer Bouw Hengelo: “It was the excellent working relationship with Unilever and our partners that enabled us to design and build this impressive building. We adopted a truly collaborative approach to this challenge from the outset and it’s proved to be a great success!”

Serpil Tascioglu, Project Lead, Unilever: “For Unilever, the crucial combination of accessibility for our collaborative partners and the highest possible sustainability criteria was what mattered. Our aim was to achieve a building built with the most sustainable materials that also had the lowest possible environmental impact when in use. We are very proud of the recognition by BREEAM and are looking forward to the building’s official opening later this year”.

BREEAM-NL Outstanding

The state-of-the-art building, designed in collaboration with Paul de Ruiter Architects, will ensure optimum interaction and knowledge-sharing between Unilever and Wageningen University & Research (WUR). The Dutch Green Building Council previously awarded the design phase the highest possible sustainability certification, the BREEAM-NL Outstanding certificate.

Innovation & Experience

The Unilever Global Foods Innovation Centre, covering some 18,000 sq. m., consists of a Pilot Plant, a Food & Customer Experience and two floors of offices and laboratories. The Pilot Plant, a form of mini-factory, will be used for the test production of new products in limited volumes. Beneath the entire building, there is a car park that is accessible for employees from both Unilever and Wageningen University & Research.

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