The company’s vast new production facility, designed by ConsortArchitects, is clad in grey-coloured, project-specific point profiles made by Allpro Giessen from Tata Steel’s pre-finished Colorcoat Prisma steel, and installed by Robertson Nederland. This choice provided three advantages, explains  Allpro Giessen director Henk Reijnders: "First you can shape the profile as desired; secondly, there is less residual material, because the dimensions correspond exactly to the dimensions of the facade; and thirdly you save time during construction, as there is less time needed for adjustments.”

"The tight steel skin in Colorcoat Prisma provides the industrial look we envisioned, as well as being quick to assemble,” says ConsortArchitects’ Machiel Hopman. “This high-quality material means a maximum life span with a minimum of maintenance," he adds.

The adjacent ultra high-tech looking office building features large areas of glazing and Alucobond aluminium composite from 3A Composites, as well as more Colorcoat Prisma cladding, this time in white.

The long horizontal lines of the integrated buildings are a visual reference, says Hopman, to the low-lying, reclaimed polder landscape in which they sit. They were designed, he adds, to enable an open-plan and democratic way of working; there’s just one shared restaurant at the plant, and workers in each building easily see those at work in the other one.

Based in Rotterdam, ConsortArchitects was involved with the project from its inception, collaborating closely with urban designer plein06 and main contractor Dura Vermeer. Sustainability was a key part of Lely’s corporate vision, and the new 22,500 square-metre production hall has achieved an impressive rating of “outstanding” under the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), the world’s foremost environmental rating system for buildings, making it the most sustainable industry building in mainland Europe. The adjoining high-tech steel-framed office building, with over 10,000 square metres of floor space also achieved a BREEAM score of “outstanding”.

Built with a prefabricated steel frame, the production building houses R&D facilities a training centre and exhibition department, in addition to state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. It also boasts a number of innovative and environmentally friendly design measures, including: an underground heat and cold storage system, combined with water collectors in the roof-top parking deck for heating in winter and cooling in summer; daylight control of lighting; draught sluices to improve air-tightness; and a 20% higher insulation value of floors, façades and roofs than required by the Dutch building directive.

The building also features a bio-mass incinerator for in-house energy electric car charging; water storage with ecological banks with natural rain-water purification; large plant troughs measuring to regulate oxygen and humidity; and a grey water circuit for flushing toilets.

Walls: Project specifik (point) profiles by Allpro Giessen - Flashings in Colorcoat Prima® Kronos - Cladding in Colorcoat Prima® Zeus - Interior of the roof: SAB 158R/750 in Colorcoat PE15 in RAL 9010 - Interior of the walls: Sandwich panels by SAB

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