2024 02 01 08h16 45 1

WDP Prinsenhil in Breda: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at a Unique Project

written by Norbert Padt
Published on:
Future logistics

Sneak Peek at the creation of an architectural, green beacon of logistical impact

Some projects go far beyond what’s considered standard. Prinsenhil in Breda is one of those projects. After completion, it will be an exceptional example of logistical efficiency and ecological sustainability. It’s a green development that excels in architectural design, with beautiful curved shapes and flawless integration into its surroundings.

However, that’s for later on. At this moment, our partners are still working hard on the construction and finishing of the project. In March 2023, the first pile was driven. Where are we today, and what work lies ahead? We ask project leader Angelo Van den Beemt.

Final delivery of 3 units inches closer

Our teams have already achieved excellent results. We are already quite far in the completion phase for three of the final five units, which are 90 per cent complete. Unit 5 is finished, and Unit 4 is getting some finishing touches. We are now starting with the interior finishing in Unit 3, which is a slightly larger space. We will begin construction on the last two units when they are finished.

We’re pleased about the results and progress so far. Before the construction launched in March 2023, we had already completed a preliminary demolition phase. Despite the heavy rainfall this year, everything remains precisely on schedule.

What can you tell us about this project?

Firstly, it is an exceptional development in every respect. This has little to do with a standard warehouse. The beautiful architectural design is combined with maximum attention to ecology and biodiversity. The curved shapes of the building are eye-catching, and the whole complex blends into its surroundings seamlessly. Moreover, the quality of the construction is very high. It is simply an impressive project to be involved in.

Are there specific challenges you had to overcome?

What was very special here was that we constructed the sprinkler tank and pump room at the very start of the project. The existing building had to remain intact for the entire construction period, but everything had to be fire-safe. So, we had to build a new pump room to ensure all sprinklers would remain operational. Only then could we start with the actual construction work.

That was well thought out!

That’s the beauty of this project: every tiny detail has been thought through. A lot of thought went into the design, and it shows. Heavy transport traffic movements are entirely separated from other traffic users. The daylight provision inside is impressive and an exclusive feat for a logistics project. When you look at it, this is more of an experience than a real estate development.

Let’s take a look at construction and energy. How well does Prinsenhil perform in that particular area?

In short, very well. We score high on the BREEAM scale thanks to the renewable energy solutions implemented in the design. When you look at insulation and ventilation, this distribution centre is first-in-class. It is also wholly gasless and equipped with charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. That electricity is mainly derived from the solar park, which extends over the entire roof surface.

You already touched on biodiversity: how is that aspect integrated?

That’s simple: it has been a vital theme and a crucial part of the project from the start. We’ve provided eco-columns, green roofs and walls, bee hotels, sparrow boxes, bat boxes… All the parking lots are equipped with grass stones, and semi-open paving is provided for maximum water infiltration. Moreover, the outdoor space and planting are designed with an excellent eye for detail. That benefits not only biodiversity but future building users as well.

They’ll have access to walking paths, playground equipment, green spaces with benches and tables… In short, the outdoor environment is a powerful asset to attract employees. It’s a one-of-a-kind project in terms of employer branding as well!

Project passport: an overview

  • Start of project: Q1 2023
  • Delivery: Q1 2024
  • Five units with warehouse, office and mezzanine
  • 355 foundation piles
  • 7,500 separate floor piles
  • 26,000 m² of usable floor space
  • 1 million kilos of steel in structural construction
  • Completely gasless
  • 2 x 1,750 kVA power connection
  • Intelligent rainwater retention
  • Green facades and roofs
  • Solar park on the entire roof

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