Big Egg Laid, Green Building Honors Hatch

Egg-shaped, yes, but Vencomatic Group certainly didn’t lay an egg when the company built a new building for its poultry equipment business.  The Venco Campus is at the head of a new top-10 list of the most sustainable projects in The Netherlands, as judged by BREEAM-NL, and some are are calling it the most sustainable building in Europe.

The shape of the building was more than a nod to the company’s role in the poultry industry – with no corners and no front or back side, it helps the building sit less obtrusively in its natural environment. Wood finishing and a sense of scale – the egg covers some 320,000 square feet, yet maintains a low profile, topping out at 36 feet in height – also help it fit into its rather bucolic setting.

venco campus egg

The Venco Campus in The Netherlands (image via Vencomatic Group)

All the wood used is Forest Stewardship Council certified.

“Energy neutral construction was paramount, whereby aspects related to energy-saving as well as energy production were taken into account,” the company says, and that’s evident in its first year eleven months of operation, plus the final month of construction. The Venco Campus used 1,432,573 kilowatt-hours of energy in that 12-month period, while the 12,000 square meters of solar panels – adding up to around 1.6 megawatts – on the roof produced 1,446,372 kilowatt-hours.

venco campus outside

venco campus egg

images via Vencomatic Group

The building minimized use of energy by emphasizing insulation, including triple-paned windows – and a lot of them, allowing for an abundance natural light, much of it shining in a central atrium – and takes advantage of sensor-controlled LED lighting. Heat pumps and heat-cold storage are also utilized.

To learn more about the building, check out this case study (translated from the Dutch through Google).

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.