**Atlas, the renovated main building of TU/e, is an award winning, smart and sustainable university building. By combining state-of-the-art materials with optimal reuse, the robust Atlas building dating from the sixties is transformed into a light and energy efficient university building. It is now one of the most sustainable education buildings in the world.**
The renovation of Atlas is part of a large-scale renewal of the Science Park. Built in 1959-1963, the building was originally designed by architect S.J. van Embden. It now houses lecture halls and study areas for two faculties, a restaurant, exhibition space and work spaces for several service departments and the Executive Board. Atlas is the first renovated education building in the Netherlands to gain the highest BREEAM score 'Outstanding' and won an International BREEAM Award (2017).
The most striking spatial intervention is formed by the central red staircase in the heart of the building, which zigzags from the ground floor to the top. The staircase follows as many existing voids in the concrete floors as possible, therefore the structural impact is cleverly limited. All shared facilities - lecture halls and practical rooms - are positioned alongside the red staircase. The staircase connects the campus to two faculties which are housed on either sides of the building.
**Hi-tech Curtain Wall**
A special design element is the curtain wall, consisting of highly insulating triple-glazing with interior, hi-tech coating sun blinds. By using state-of-the-art materials this ‘simple’ curtain wall with lowered sun blinds equates to the thermal values of an insulated cavity wall. Equally special is the building’s ‘night flush’: during summer nights the floor-to-ceiling windows slide outwards to cool and naturally ventilate the building.
To achieve the high ambitions regarding sustainability the design-team worked closely with researchers from the Intelligent Lighting Institute of TU/e. The building acts as a Living Lab for research on innovative and sustainable technologies. The whole building is equipped with smart and efficient LED lighting, configured at a low light level: the implemented Smart Energysaving Light (SEL) system. It is an open system which allows new, project-specific applications to collect data for academic research and reduce energy use. Users can adjust the light settings or temperature with an app, or make reservations for a room. Partly due to the use of this smart building system for research, Atlas is regarded as an international example of sustainable renovation and innovation.