“ Walk the talk by investing in a sustainable way that is also focused on yields”

“ Walk the talk by investing in a sustainable way that is also focused on yields”

In 2018 NSI bought the historic office building Bentinck huis at Lange Voorhout 7 in The Hague. The building was fully vacant and required a thorough renovation. It presented a great opportunity for NSI to showcase its vision on Future-Proof Buildings. The choices that were made while renovating Bentinck huis show just what NSI’s sustainability ambitions are. “Walk the talk by investing in a sustainable way that is also focused on yields. Our approach to Bentinck huis combines all the elements of our sustainability vision.”

By renovating Bentinck huis NSI is creating a high-end office building on a boulevard widely considered to be one of the nicest in The Hague for centuries. This is a high ambition that befits a listed building at a historic location that is equipped with all the facilities that a modern office tenant may need. Sustainability also plays a large role in this.

Asset Manager Annemarie de Leuw and Development Specialist Dennis van der Stoop are not only responsible for the renovation of Bentinck huis but also for promoting two of the three main pillars of NSI’s sustainability strategy. Annemarie is responsible for the NSI-wide policy on Future-Proof Buildings and Dennis on Energy & Carbon. “We have been closely involved in developing NSI’s overall vision on sustainability. It was great to be able to apply all our principles and apply them in the best possible way to the renovation of Bentinck huis,” Annemarie said.

Sustainability as leading principle
The renovation is a large-scale project with endless options which always require choosing between investment and yield. The budget increased as the project evolved. Not because of setbacks but because Future-Proof Buildings and Energy & Carbon were the leading principles. “The sustainability angle was always prevalent in the design. That means a large investment upfront that will pay off thanks to the building’s longer economic life, increased rentability and lower operating costs,” Annemarie said.

In the renovation sustainability was translated into the list of requirements in the broadest sense of the word in connection with the three pillars of NSI’s sustainability strategy: Future-Proof Buildings, Energy & Carbon and Health & Well-being.

“Future-Proof Buildings are buildings that are both adaptive and innovative, buildings that anticipate trends and employ new technology,” Annemarie explained. “All the infrastructure – such as lighting, heating and ventilation – is installed in a way that does not limit the options users have when configuring the space. Furthermore the building’s tenants can easily control any space and monitor energy consumption via an app.”

NSI also went for the most sustainable option when it came to the installations, including the thermal storage unit. “This is quite a challenge to achieve in a listed building but something that we absolutely wanted to do.” Dennis said. This, combined with demand-driven ventilation, optimises the level of comfort and in doing so significantly reduces energy usage and CO2 emissions. “The ventilation is driven by the level of CO2 in the space. When a space is not used a lot or at all, the ventilation is automatically reduced. Research shows that this results in an additional energy saving of around 20%.”

The design also contains elements aimed at the tenants’ well-being. This includes providing significantly more daylight by creating large windows. “Light is extremely important to how people feel and how productive they are,” Annemarie explained. The staircase in the lobby has turned into an absolute eyecatcher that invites people to use them more often. And it is a great place to meet.

Annemarie de Leuw is currently in talks with various potential tenants. “There is a lot of interest due to the unique combination of the historic location, the flexible layout, the smart technology and a strong sustainability profile, which all together makes Bentinck Huis an appealing, distinctive and truly sustainably Future-Proof Building.”


Upgrading from energy D to A label and targeting BREEAM-in-use Excellent