In an attempt to contribute to the reduction of CO2 in cities, the West-Star group has decided to embark on a green expedition in the core of the company – The Thornico Building in Rotterdam. The aim of the project was to transform the building into a green lung, and three projects were soon to be realized.
One project was to transform the rooftops of the two towers of the building from grey to green. With a ‘carpet’ of moss and succulent plants, the roofs now function as green filters trapping particulates and CO2, which has resulted in a considerable improvement in the air quality. As a further benefit, the sedum roofs also work as an excellent insulator leading to substantial energy savings.
Another project, which has literally given the Thornico Building a green profile, is the “Green Park”. The project includes covering the 5000 m2 façade of the car parking facilities of the Thornico Building with ivy, thus making a fully grown wall of green that has the same filtering effect as 200 mature trees. In fact it has become the largest vertical green wall in Europe, and consequently an inspirational source for sustainable thinking and a landmark for Rotterdam. Besides this filtering effect, the green façade also counterworks the urban heat effect in the city by reducing radiant heat, and relieving the overburdened sewer system, when rain water is retained to irrigate the plants.
Last but not least, the Thornico Building has had LED lighting installed, which is a far more energy efficient way to illuminate compared to the conventional lighting. By installing LED in most of the public areas of the building, West-Star is securing considerable energy savings.
In West-Star, these are three important steps towards a healthier environment, and the benefits of these steps will continuously be enjoyed by the company and its surrounding community. West-Start hopes that these initiatives will inspire others to tread the path to a greener tomorrow.