National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Utrecht, The Netherlands


A dramatic futuristic structure is rising toward the skies in the Utrecht Science Park. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) have commissioned an eighteen-story glass tower to house their offices and laboratories. The design criteria have set the highest possible standards for sustainable construction including the building fabric, landscaping and HVAC systems.


This substantial structure will provide 80,000 m2 of floor space including 17,000 m2 for laboratories. It will accommodate around 2,200 employees. The design has been certified “Outstanding” by the BREEAM-NL (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). This represents the highest score ever for such a complex and extensive project.

In keeping with this uniquely sustainable design, cooling and heating must be energy neutral. Builders MEET Strukton, under the direction of Felix Claus Dick Van Wageningen Architects, turned to
Trane for a solution.


Trane has recommended XStream RTWF heat pumps under the control of a Trane Chiller Plant Manager. There are three RTWF G 240HE high efficiency heat pumps and one G 240HSE high seasonal efficiency heat pump. Energy is generated locally and sustainably via heat and cold storage (WKO). The Trane XStream RTWF uses environmentally sustainable 1234ze refrigerant, an HFO (Hydrofluoroolefin) "fourth generation" refrigerant with zero ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) and a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of less than 1.
Construction started in 2017, with commissioning scheduled for 2021. The HVAC equipment will be installed in Q3 2019.


Comfort, Efficiency, Sustainability

Four heat pumps were chosen to maximize the working area and enable greater energy efficiency. Each Trane XStream RTWF is equipped with two circuits in combination with a total of three compressors. By adding the Trane Adaptive Frequency Drive (AFD) to the high seasonal efficiency heat pump, part load performance is optimized.

Optimized operation, optimized economy

Costs in the use phase of this unique building are tightly scrutinized to ensure sustainability targets are met. The exceptional efficiency of the Trane XStream cuts energy usage to reduce the total cost
of ownership. Maintenance costs are also low: compressor overhaul intervals of 100,000 hours are
double the industry norm.

Construction is via a Public-Private Partnership with a Design, Build, Finance, Maintain, Operate contract in effect. MEET Strukton is not only responsible for the construction but also for twenty-five years of maintenance and operation.

The combination of system efficiency and long-term service are the key ingredients set to deliver a milestone in innovative, sustainable building.

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