We are about to start construction of a new building next to our existing premises at the Plaspoelpolder in Rijswijk, the Netherlands. Approximately 80 000 m2 in size, the new building will provide a modern and flexible working environment for around 1 750 staff.
The selected design is a tall steel building with a sophisticated double glass facade, about 100m high and 150m long. The glass facade will be reflected in a landscaped pond. It will be a bold example of contemporary architecture, symbolising the EPO’s mission to foster innovation in Europe.
The building's design places a strong focus on sustainability. The builders aim to minimise its impact on the environment while ensuring very healthy, safe and comfortable indoor conditions for our staff and visitors. To ensure sustainability, it is planned to apply criteria set by the Netherlands BREEAM-NL and the German BNB methods of environmental assessment.
Construction will start in 2014. Delivery of the new building is currently planned for April 2017, while the rest of the project, including demolition of the existing “Tower” building and landscaping of the site, is expected to be completed in early 2019.
The existing building - now 40 years old - has suffered from natural ageing, exacerbated by recent harsh winters, and also no longer meets the needs of our staff.
Following an open, international pre-qualification phase, the invitation to tender for the design and construction of the new building was issued on 23 April 2012.
In this first round of the tender procedure proper, ten consortia were invited to submit a bid. Eight of them submitted a valid bid by the deadline of early July 2012. An international jury met on 31 July 2012 to select the best three for consideration in the second, non-anonymous round. The three shortlisted consortia were asked to elaborate on their initial bids and submit a preliminary design.
The jury met again in January 2013 to assess these detailed bids and recommend one for the contract award. The EPO President submitted the jury's recommendation to the Administrative Council's Budget and Finance Committee, which cleared it for final approval by the Council. The Council then gave the go-ahead to award the contract to the selected bidder in June 2013.
We have set very strict limits for the permissible levels of noise and vibration. The builders will use techniques designed to keep noise and vibration to a minimum, but levels will be measured continuously and the work will be stopped if the limits are exceeded.
In 2014 the main entrance and the visitors’ car park will be relocated.