The world's first biobased facade has been realized in Dinteloord, The Netherlands. Commissioned by the Tuinbouwontwikkelingsmaatschappij architect Marco Vermeulen designed the new gas receiving station (GOS) of the Agro & Food Cluster (AFC) New Prinsenland. The station is cladded with biobased panels made of Nabasco , a composite of bio resin and hemp fiber produced by NPSP Composites in Haarlem.
Not only fossil fuels but also fossil raw materials become scarcer. The petrochemical industry is therefore eagerly looking for organic materials that can eventually replace oil based materials. Out of these organic materials bi based products can be made such as paints and plastics. This development is still in its early days, but will be significant for the construction industry. The green materials will largely be based on organic residues from agriculture and horticulture. In the future biobased economy these residues (biomass) will first be processed (valued) into usable raw materials. The remaining organic material is available for renewable energy. Industry in the Dutch region of West Brabant seems to achieve a pioneering role in this development.
This transition into a biobased economy which takes place at the Agro & Food Cluster Nieuw Prinsenland and the surrounding region was for Marco Vermeulen the motive to examine the possibilities for building material. For the gas receiving station, together with NPSP from Haarlem, he has developed a wall panel with a recipe of bioresin and hemp fibers. The challenge was great because the gas infrastructure company places high demands on the materials. The panel shows in relief the chemical composition of natural gas in the correct ratio of hydrogen (H), carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). The current use of fossil fuels in the gas station is in this way combined with a promise of a bio based future.
The Agro & Food Cluster New Prinsenland is a large development site for horticulture and agri-business in Dinteloord, 30 minutes south of Rotterdam. The area, which includes the existing industrial site of Sugar Union, has a size of approximately 600 hectares. The AFC New Prinsenland will be an example of a sustainable intensive food production area where cycles of energy, water and waste streams will be closed as much as possible. The greenhouse area for example can make use of the waste heat and C02 which is available in the sugar factory. Sugar Union is frontrunner when it comes to processing and reusing green waste: sugar already regains value as raw material for plastics and medicines.
The first gardeners are currently establishing in the area. Based on a design by Studio Marco Vermeulen at the edges of the AFC irrigation water basins are being constructed with beet soil remaining in the production of sugar. Ultimately, the total area will be bordered by a green sculptural cuff of water basins. A biogas installation is realized that converts vegetable waste and beet pulp into biogas which is upgraded to green gas. This green gas is being supplied to 5000 households in Dinteloord. In the near future the green gas will also be supplied to the greenhouses, where it will be converted into heat, electricity and C02.