It’s hotter than hot in Lumen. But things are soon to change.
Photo: ©Tessa Louwerens, Editing: ©Helena Ligthert
For some time now, climate control in Lumen has been a problem. Temperatures on the top storey of the A-wing can climb higher than 30 degrees. A study is now being done at the WUR level on the feasibility of installing a warm-cold system. ‘If the results are positive, we expect that the system can be completed by the end of 2018 or early 2019,’ said building manager Antoon van Brakel. Until then, cooling units will be placed on all storeys of the A-wing to ensure that staff can keep their heads cool this summer.
Lumen was built on the principle of ‘experiencing the seasons’. This means that the building is self-sufficient with an environmentally friendly method of natural ventilation. ‘When the building was opened, we knew that this system would cause problems on very hot days,’ Van Brakel said. ‘But the staff didn’t regard this as objectionable then.’
Now, however, many more people work in Lumen and there are more machines that produce warmth. This means that the building has become warmer, especially the A-wing since it faces the southwest and receives the most sun.
Earlier attempts to reduce the temperature, such as cooling the roof with water, proved insufficient. Van Brakel: ‘Personnel began to complain more often, and we wanted to find a solution now. But then a solution that is in line with the sustainable philosophy with which the building was designed. We can’t rebuild Lumen to make it a building with air conditioning, but people have to be able to work comfortably of course.’
On 29 June, building management will start installing cooling units; the process will take a few weeks.