The combination of a parametric way of working and an integrated approach reduced the amount of wood needed for the stability system of a new high-rise tower in the Netherlands by 30%.

Monarch IV is a high-rise development commissioned by Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, the Central Government Real Estate Agency. Once complete, it will provide much-needed office accommodation for government employees in the Hague. 

The natural choice for the structure was wood

Royal HaskoningDHV was asked to develop an integrated concept design for the building. Key requirements included the use of a parametric approach, that the building should be constructed with wood and meet the sustainability goals of Rijksvastgoedbedrijf. In addition, the lead time was very short. 

Interest in the use of wood in projects is increasing. Wood is sustainable, durable, stores carbon and its lighter weight reduces transport costs. It was therefore a natural choice for the structure in view of the challenging environmental ambitions of the government in the Netherlands.

Our integrated approach brought together architectural and structural disciplines including building physics, sustainability and building services in a single parametric model. The benefit of such a model is that it informs decision making by providing immediate visualisation of the impact of any modifications and enables the design to be optimised across a range of parameters.

Integrated approach optimises façade across structural design, sustainability and energy performance 

The stability system for the tower is provided by wooden diagonals in a structural grid. Using a parametric design, we were able to calculate dimensions of each individual support column rather than standardising elements within each floor. The precision of these calculations reduced the total amount of wood required by 30%. 
Our integrated parametric approach also offered opportunities to optimise the façade. A computer algorithm calculated more than 3,600 variants of the façade to deliver an optimum equilibrium between architectural appearance, the use of materials, ingress of daylight and energy consumption.
 

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