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  • 26-10-2023

Maaswaard project: material city office Venlo reused in 95 social housing units

With the completion of project Maaswaard, Venlo has gained 95 flats in the social segment and five beautiful town houses. It is an important step in the municipality's desire to complete the area around the city office. René Bovens, senior project developer at B-Right Urban Living, talks about this special project; a challenging mix of providing social housing, sustainability and very pretty looks.

Cooperation with Venlo municipality

"When the green city office was built, Kraaijvanger Architects already knew that the plot had to be complemented with a circular housing variant. So we also knew where we stood from the purchase of the plot and sought cooperation with the municipality as early as possible. For a project of this size, it all went very quickly after that. Between the first conversation and the final delivery was about 3 years. It helped enormously that there was already a residential zoning and the municipality had a pretty clear picture of the desired outcome."

"We talked to each other about the number and type of flats and the appearance of the whole thing. There are 95 flats - including 15 studios - spread over eight floors. All those homes are in the social segment. We also built 5 townhouses in the regular segment. All residences, including the smaller studios, are fully independent. In addition, we provide some communal facilities in and around the building. This is characteristic of our vision of urban microliving and creating urban communities."

"With this project, we contribute to solving the housing shortage. There are more and more one- and two-person households. Think young people, starters/young workers, mediors who are on their own and elderly people who want to live smaller (ground floor)."

Developed together with Janssen de Jong

"For this project, we put together a strong construction team. Janssen de Jong Bouw, Janssen de Jong Projectontwikkeling, Kraaijvanger Architects and us from B-Right Urban Living. Together we faced a complex building task. On the one hand because of the sustainability ambitions and on the other because of the limited site space. A project of this size requires a lot of movement around the construction site. We therefore opted for a largely prefabricated building system: a concrete skeleton, composed of prefabricated walls and floors. The façade elements are aluminium and have integrated solar panels on the sides of the building where it is profitable. Once arrived on site, those components are assembled with a fixed construction crane. Scaffolding is therefore not needed. All in all, it saves a lot of construction traffic and is also a very sustainable choice."

Sustainability and circularity

"Venlo's existing city office has already set a good example. Green facades, reused and reusable materials, and solar panels in the facades. The green facades consist of ivy and perennials. This also creates a habitat for birds, butterflies and all kinds of other insects. In summer, those green facades provide coolness and capture fine dust. As mentioned, a large part of the remaining facades consist of solar panels."

"One-third of the concrete used for the precast parts consists of recycled granulate. At the city office, a facade was temporarily finished with beautiful Accoya wood. The flats are now built against that facade and the wood has a new purpose: it is used for yard fences in the courtyard garden. Looking to the future, we opted for untreated aluminium window frames, which are easy to recycle when this building expires. Many wooden parts will also be perfectly usable then. Add up all these choices and you end up with a great result: energy-wise, we are ahead of new laws and regulations by having the building meet the new BENG requirements now."

After completion: management at Plaza Resident Services

"Once the 95 flats and five townhouses were ready for use, we transferred the management and maintenance to Plaza Resident Services, part of Mosaic World just like us. Of course, in doing so, we ensure a proper handover. Think of premises in excellent condition, good drawings and all relevant contracts. That way, they can do their work properly too. A bit of aftercare is also part of our job. A tap always leaks somewhere after completion. We always fix things like that neatly."

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