Disconnecting a four-story C&A building from the natural gas grid & installing PV panels

18 Septemberplein, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

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In 2020, we redeveloped our 9,000 m2, four-story C&A building at 18 Septemberplein in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. This renovation included modernising and upgrading the protected facade by adding four glass boxes 5.5 metres wide by 7 metres high and weighing 3,000 kg each – the first of their kind in the Netherlands. Redevco used this renovation of the old department store as an opportunity to add several additional commercial units and to implement sustainability measures that target a BREEAM-Excellent certification.

Energy performance

By significantly improving the energy efficiency of the asset, disconnecting it from natural gas and adding solar panels to the roof for on-site generation, we have fulfilled key steps in the process to prepare this asset to be Net Zero Carbon in operation. Given this is now an all-electric building, if all occupiers deliberately choose to procure certified green electricity, this asset would be zero carbon in operation. We will continue to engage with our tenants to make such a conscious choice.

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Photo Eva Bloem

Key measures

  • The asset was disconnected from the natural gas grid for heating purposes.
  • 126 PV Panels installed on the roof (approx. 40 kWh).
  • Energy-efficient escalators & elevators.
  • Increased percentage of insulated glass.
  • Changed all the window frames to insulated frames.
  • Highly insulated shell.
  • LED lighting (by tenants).

Learnings & Challenges

The Redevco team managed to make some major and difficult-to-implement improvements during the redevelopment. They completely disconnected the building from the natural gas grid, making the asset completely electric, even though food & beverage activities take place in the building. To make this transformation, it was important to achieve early tenant commitment to this bold choice of eliminating natural gas.

Originally, we considered installing PV on the rear (South-facing) facade and PV panels on a pergola above the installation on the roof. These plans were discarded because of low efficiency, high costs and a sub-standard design. However, with evolving designs and technological advancements in the area of PV present an opportunity to further add to the on-site generation capacity in the future.