Built to house 220 people from ArcelorMittal’s digitalisation teams, the new INDI building in Gent (Belgium) is setting high standards in office construction. With its open spaces, low overall height, and high level of energy efficiency, the building is a showcase for ArcelorMittal’s steel solutions. One of the most striking is the Granite® HDXtreme aesthetic cassettes which clad the outside of the building. This organic coated steel offers best-in-class resistance to corrosion thanks to its three-layer coating system. As the INDI building is located on ArcelorMittal’s Gent campus, close to the industrial environment of the mill and the sea, Granite® HDXtreme was the intelligent choice.
The INDI building is situated less than two kilometres from the Gent-Terneuzen canal, a major inland waterway which connects ArcelorMittal Gent to the sea. The site is also located in a heavily industrial environment which includes the mill and other businesses. Granite® HDXtreme enables ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products to offer a 20-year guarantee in these locations.
Granite® HDXtreme is used on the building’s exterior and is an ideal material for the industrial-maritime location
A robust grained polyurethane coating protects Granite® HDXtreme from scratches during forming operations and transport. Granite® HDXtreme is also very sustainable, making it an ideal fit with ArcelorMittal’s Steligence® approach to creating sustainable built environments. The INDI building marks the first time the Steligence® concept has been fully deployed in an office building. Steligence® also includes a range of sustainable steel construction products, both long and flat, many of which were utilised in the INDI building.
One of the key components identified in the Steligence® concept is Angelina® beams. “The benefit of Angelina® beams is that they have openings which allow structural elements and utilities to be passed through,” notes Jan Jennes, project engineer from Arcadis, a multinational engineering company which consulted on the INDI building. “Their use avoids wasted space in the ceiling and enables the height of each floor to be lowered. In turn, this reduces the volume of air that needs to be heated or cooled.”
Cofraplus® 60 flooring has been deployed to enhance the lightness of the structure. The trapezoidal steel sheets have open ribs and specific embossment to ensure there is a good mechanical bond between the steel deck and the concrete. “The Cofraplus® composite slab is around two-and-a-half times lighter than concrete slabs and much quicker to install,” notes Francois Hanus, head of Steligence Engineering. “The solution also provides thermal comfort and excellent acoustics in office buildings.”
The composite slab is designed to act as a tensile membrane in case of a fire. This allows fire protection to be limited to just the beams that are connected to columns – without compromising safety. Around 60 percent of the secondary beams in the structure do not require fire protection, offering a significant cost saving.
Other steel elements from ArcelorMittal have been utilised throughout the building explains Bart De Clercq, real estate manager for the ArcelorMittal Gent site: “For example, the INDI building is clad in different layers to ensure excellent insulation and airtightness. As well as the aesthetic Granite® HDXtreme cassettes, the building features ArcelorMittal’s new carrier-type Promisol S Hybrid® sandwich panel which ensure good air tightness and a high level of insulation.”
Excellent airtightness and insulation is achieved thanks to the use of Promisol S Hybrid® sandwich panels
Smart construction tools have also been deployed to enhance recyclability or reuse. For example, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags have been placed in the sandwich panels and cladding cassettes as test. The tags include detailed information about each specific building element and can be read with a scanner.
For the building’s occupants, the design sets new standards in an ArcelorMittal office. Sustainable heating and cooling is provided thanks to a geothermal system which uses ground energy to maintain a constant temperature throughout the year.
The spaces are open, flexible, and filled with natural light. On darker days, smart LED lighting – made with ArcelorMittal steel – provides artificial illumination for maximum energy efficiency. In the entry way, the ceiling will be left open to showcase the steel floor and structural beams.
For more info on Granite® HDXtreme, see our full article in the March 2021 edition of Update.
For more information on the Steligence® concept, visit: steligence.arcelormittal.com.
The Steligence® concept proposes that buildings need to be considered as integrated, almost ‘living’ entities, embedded in the urban environment. In this context, it suggests that broader and more transparent collaboration between architects, engineers, and property developers is called for. Without that collaboration, the potential to resolve the apparently competing demands of creativity, flexibility, sustainability, and economics is inevitably compromised.
Built into the Steligence® approach is a broad range of steel products for construction which individually add value, but together represent a compelling portfolio with a range of defined benefits.
Copyright pictures: Jeroen Op de Beeck / ArcelorMittal Gent