Cascade office complex in Groningen is Paris Proof ready


The Cascade complex, situated at a unique location next to Groningen central railway station, is well on the way to becoming fully Paris Proof. Thanks to sustainable investments in cooperation with PingProperties and its tenant, the Central Government Real Estate Agency, actual energy consumption per m2 has been drastically reduced and the complex will be fully Paris Proof well before 2040, making Cascade ready for a sustainable future.


At the time of purchase, the five buildings in PingProperties’ portfolio had energy labels varying from E to C and were among the last buildings in PingProperties’ portfolio not to have energy label A. Major sustainability work was undertaken in 2019 and 2022 which resulted in significant improvements in the buildings’ labels:


– Building 1 = A (was C)
– Buildings 4&5 = A++ (was D)
– Buildings 6&7 = A+++ (was E)
– Building 8 = A++ (was D)
– Building 9 = A (was E)

In order to be Paris Proof, existing office buildings may not consume more than 70 kWh/m2 of usable floor area per year by 2050. The DGBC has set the target to achieve this as early as 2040. Paris Proof is only achievable if the tenant and lessor work closely together. PingProperties therefore monitors its buildings’ actual energy consumption, following the DGBC and CCREM Paris Proof paths. If the planned savings milestones are not achieved, PingProperties engages in discussions with the tenant to achieve the required savings.


‘Making the Cascade complex sustainable is an important example of how we are giving our built environment a Paris Proof future. For example, actual energy consumption in buildings 4 to 8 of the Cascade complex is now 89-100 kWh/m2 of lettable floor area. This is half of what an average office building in the Netherlands consumes per square metre (225 kWh/m2 of lettable floor area; source: ECN report and Sipma (2014)).


The complex is even 6 years ahead of the DGBC curve to make it fully Paris Proof by 2040. This makes us proud of the difference we have made with this result. It makes our work exciting and challenging. We want to transform outdated buildings and areas with the aim of giving them a sustainable future,’ says Silvia Verschoor – COO at PingProperties.


Background to making Cascade sustainable
PingProperties began work in 2022 to make buildings 4&5, 6&7 and 8 fully sustainable. The climate systems have been substantially upgraded, where traditional heating systems with boilers have been replaced by a hybrid system with heat pumps. The air-conditioning units have also been replaced by new, more efficient units that have significantly reduced energy consumption. Finally, the control engineering has been entirely replaced to enable the new systems to be used as effectively as possible. The lighting in the entire complex had previously been replaced by sustainable LED lighting. Thanks to this renovation work, the energy labels for the three buildings have been improved to A++ and A+++.


In 2019, sustainability improvements in buildings 1 and 9 by installing new cooling machines and LED lighting had resulted in energy label A. During the coming year, a new hybrid heat pump will be installed in building 1 which will improve the energy label to A++.


About the Cascade complex
The Cascade complex is situated at Cascadeplein 2 to 10 and Emmasingel 4 in Groningen. The complex is the largest multi-tenant government building in the Netherlands and accommodates 14 different government agencies, including the Central Government Real Estate Agency (RVB), the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), the Land Registry, the Groningen Archives and the Telecom Agency. Solarfields also has offices in the complex. All this means that the Cascade complex is 100% let.

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