Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences: The aim was to achieve BREEAM-NL 'Excellent'. nora rubber floor coverings fit perfectly in this picture

Netherlands (Rotterdam) | Education | noraplan® unita

Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School

Future-oriented education in a sustainable building

European Capital of Culture 2001, City of Architecture 2007, leading industrial and commercial city, one of the cultural centres of the Netherlands – this is Rotterdam. Modernisation is at the heart of the architectural city, which is also reflected in educational institutions such as the Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School (HRBS). As a part of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, which is one of the largest universities in the Netherlands with 30,000 students, HRBS is preparing for a career in the international economy in state-of-the-art buildings with advanced technology.

A milestone in the history of HRBS is certainly the new educational building on the university campus of Kralingse Zoom, which opened on 8 March 2017. The challenge here was to visually combine the new building with the existing building and to make both parts of the building so sustainable that they meet the requirements of the BREEAM-NL Excellent certificate. In addition to measures for energy efficiency, this also requires natural, environmentally friendly materials that have a positive impact on the indoor climate. nora rubber coverings fit perfectly into the picture – and so there are more than 11,300 square metres of noraplan unita in HRBS, a plain-coloured flooring with embedded, real granite chips.

A spectacular sight

Entering the atrium of the new building offers visitors a spectacular sight, as they are welcomed by a huge room with several floors. “This educational building is the latest addition to HRBS,” says architect Paul de Ruiter. “The idea was to create a flexible area that offers many different places where you can stay alone or in small groups,” adds de Ruiter. Based on this idea, an open building ring with classrooms, lecture halls and offices was created, the seven floors of which are connected by a wide, imposing staircase. The staircase is considered an important part of the concept, because it is intended to ensure that people happen to be in touch and talk to each other. “The interior is also important,” continues the architect, “because it determines the appearance and transports the atmosphere and mood. In contrast to the large amount of light and wood, we wanted a dark floor with a timeless look that is at the same time robust and resistant. So the choice was made for noraplan unita, because we know from experience that thanks to its appearance and its characteristics, it will still look great even in ten years and more. The dark grey of noraplan unita underlines the clear, puristic design and the granite chips introduced also create interesting lighting effects on the ground,” de Ruiter praises. A further bonus: As is possible with all nora rubber floors, noraplan unita has also been seamlessly joined in the building, so that users can experience the floor as a beautiful, large area. more

Sustainability is a top priority

“Rubber floors have long lost their old-fashioned image and are now regarded as a modern and sustainable flooring solution,” explains Marien Ippel, Account Executive at nora systems GmbH. nora floors, including noraplan unita, have low levels of emissions and are very economical. The rubber floors owe this very good cost-effectiveness to their dense, closed surface, because they are easy to clean and do not require a coating. This not only saves the initial coating costs, but also future time-consuming and costly new coatings.” “The great properties of our floors in terms of sustainability have made a significant contribution to the fact that the university building has received the BREEAM-NL Excellent certificate, of which we are of course very proud,” Ippel concludes.

A floor for good acoustics

“Once our floors are put into use, users will benefit from a significantly reduced footfall sound,” the nora employee added. “The excellent acoustic properties of nora floors are a strong argument, especially in highly frequented areas such as those in universities.” The rubber material ensures a permanently elastic surface that absorbs the impact sound and thus contributes to very good interior acoustics.

The overall package fits

René van Gorp is Manager of Architectural Management and Maintenance and says in conversation: ‘Since the building has been finished it’s become a part of us and I’m in charge of keeping it in good condition. Today, after three years, it is still an impressive, energy-efficient building, with many great features. It is not for nothing that it has received an excellent award from BREAAM-NL. In addition, the combination of bright walls, lots of glass and a seamless-looking floor works very well and corresponds to today’s trend. nora’s rubber floor also has a very easyto- clean surface and maintenance costs are low.” The HRBS educational building is future-proof and designed to be flexible. In this way, it is possible to react quickly to changes in education. Due to the modular design, the walls can be easily moved so that the size and function of the rooms can be easily changed on request.

Data and facts

Building Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School
Owner Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences
Architect Paul de Ruiter Architects, Amsterdam
Installation Year 2017
Photographer Studio Beeldwerken
Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences: The aim was to achieve BREEAM-NL 'Excellent'. nora rubber floor coverings fit perfectly in this picture
The new building of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has been built according to BREEAM-NL and the ‘Frisse Scholenconcept’, building with low-emission building materials.
noraplan unita floor covering in Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences
Future-proof education in a sustainable building. Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences with floor covering from nora systems
Built according to the 'Frisse Scholen Concept', Rotterdam Hogeschool with noraplan unita rubber floor covering
the new building of Rotterdam Hogeschool with low-emission building materials as noraplan unita
Paul de Ruiter Architects designed the new building of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences - with noraplan unita
'Het Nieuwe Studeren' - new educational building for the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences - a reference for nora floor-coverings


noraplan® unita

Rubber floor covering with a perfect combination of permanently resilient rubber and randomly dispersed granite chips. The fine scatter of chips in noraplan® unita lends it a discreet appearance. The design is deliberately purist and simple.

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