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DESSO® Cradle to Cradle® carpet in the most sustainable office building in the Netherlands

18 May 2011

Leading European carpet manufacturer DESSO® has supplied Cradle to Cradle® carpet to the Bussumse Watertoren, recently declared the most sustainable office building in the Netherlands for 2011 (‘Duurzaamste bedrijfsgebouw van Nederland 2011’). Forty buildings were submitted for review, and their many ‘ecoclaims’ were stringently checked, measured and compared.  The award is an initiative from the VARA-programme ‘Vroege Vogels’ together with trade journal ‘De Ingenieur’. The jury awarded the more than 100 year old water tower in Bussum as the winner, stating that ‘the building acts as a clear example for the commercial market’.

The jury adopted the measuring criteria as identified by GPR Gebouw, an advice point for sustainable building and development. Of the 40 buildings submitted for review, four were nominated for final consideration: Hogeschool Windesheim (Zwolle), research institute NIOO (Wageningen), Rijkswaterstaat (Terneuzen) and the water tower (Bussum). The four jury members visited each nominated building, and concluded that Bussumse Watertoren was the most sustainable office building in The Netherlands. Desso’s contribution to this highly respected award comprises 2000 m2 Palatino Cradle to Cradle® Silver Certified carpet tiles, featuring Desso’s revolutionary EcoBase® carpet tile backing. DESSO EcoBase® was specifically designed with disassembly and recycling in mind. Due to its innovative composition, carpet tiles with EcoBase® can be fully recycled within Desso’s own production process. Furthermore, the building also re-uses its treated water and utilizes wind- and sun energy, delivering any extra electricity back to the grid.

Cradle to Cradle® design requires that products are made from pure materials that are safe for human use and can be biologically or technically recycled at the end of their useful life.  It sees carpet as being made up of nutrients that can be reused in an unending cycle, whereby old carpet can be remade into new carpet, again and again and again. Whilst the Netherlands is seen as a forerunner in the adoption of Cradle to Cradle® design, in this time of increasingly expensive raw materials and depleting oil reserves, the ability to reuse products after their useful life as raw materials for new products is a concept that appeals to all regions of the globe. Carpet is one of many products that are partly made up of oil, making it too valuable to dispose of as waste.

Cradle to Cradle® design is inspired by nature and sees carpet as being made up of nutrients, that should consistently remain in use, in an unending cycle. This was the reason that Desso developed its new EcoBase® backing, which has also enabled the world’s first Cradle to Cradle® Silver certification for an entire carpet tile product. Furthermore, Desso have implemented a Take BackTM system to ensure that carpet recycling actually takes place: collecting old, used carpet at the end of its useful life and recycling it into new carpet, again and again and again. Carpet recycling at Desso is enabled through its Refinity® plant: Desso’s innovative separation technique which enables the yarn and other fibres to be separated from the backing. This produces two material streams (yarn and backing) which can then each be recycled. This is why Desso carpet tiles were chosen for this sustainable building, thus contributing towards the highly prestigious recognition of ‘Most Sustainable Office Building in The Netherlands 2011’.
 
Alexander Collot d’Escury was pleased with the news and congratulates the Bussumse Watertoren with this award: “This building is a fantastic example of how sustainability can reach new levels in today’s office environments. It’s extremely important for us all to spread the word on the incredible, innovative developments that are taking place in sustainable building products and systems, and this award is a great way to raise awareness. Hopefully – through this inspiring location – people will realize that it’s not just achievable, but also practical and good common sense to chose for sustainability when creating office environments, no matter how old the original building may be.”

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