Start of construction marks milestone in the Taste, Texture & Health head office and application laboratories

Start of construction marks milestone in the Taste, Texture & Health head office and application laboratories

On 1 November, there was a celebration at the Biotech Campus Delft and Marja van Bijsterveldt, Mayor of Delft, Patrick Niels, president Taste, Texture & Health at dsm‑firmenich and Fedde Sonnema, director Biotech Campus Delft, symbolically hammered in the first pile of the new head office with application facilities. Well, we say hammered it in, but the process here is slightly different. "We are screwing them in! We are constructing a magnificent building without any pile-driving work, which would cause nuisance to local residents," say project directors Harry Spuyman and Rob van Steenbergen.

The construction of the new building at the Biotech Campus Delft is moving quickly. The first of the 324 piles have now been screwed into the ground. "The contractor will be working on the foundation until February 2024," says Harry Spuyman. "After that, the steel structure will be built and the building will then go up very quickly. The outer walls are expected to be complete by mid-2024. After that, we will start working on the installations." By mid-2025, approximately 500 employees of dsm‑firmenich will be able to make use of office and meeting rooms, and of the application facilities, such as a brewery, cheese factory, bakery, tasting room and cooking studio. The building will also become the home base for the application specialists of the Food Innovation Center.


Everything is on schedule. This is not obvious in a market in which skilled people and materials are scarce. "We have an experienced project team," explains Spuyman. "And we know what the possibilities are and what we want." What dsm‑firmenich wants is a bright and inviting building that meets the very latest and very highest standards of sustainability and wellbeing. "We are aiming for BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum certificates," says the project director. "That's a challenge, especially for laboratories, but we're happy to take it on." This means, among other things, air source heat pumps, solar panels, LED lights and the use of materials that are as sustainable as possible. There will also be a lot of greenery in and around the building, because people need to feel comfortable there. And the good news: We received a positive result in the assessment for BREEAM Outstanding and the draft certificate has now been issued. This is the first building with laboratories in the Netherlands, and perhaps even in Europe, that has the BREEAM Outstanding certificate!

Change management

Rob van Steenbergen is working on the relocation of the future occupants. "Most of them can't wait," he says. "However, for some people it will take a bit of getting used to. This is because we will be working in a completely different way. To start with, no one will have their own desk anymore. After all, people are working from home more often and coming to the office for a specific purpose, such as a meeting or to work with their team. This means that not everyone needs a workstation at all times. This will be slightly different for the users of the laboratories and application facilities. They will have office zones with more workstations. But here, too, no one will have their own desk."
This new way of working requires proper planning and coordination. "More thought needs to be given to how the week and working day will be organized," says Van Steenbergen. "If everyone comes in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it won't work."

Meticulously scripted

The move itself will be happening during 'business as usual.' On the one hand, all this means is plugging in your laptop somewhere else, but on the other hand it is a complex process that needs to be meticulously scripted. Van Steenbergen: "We want to have as little impact as possible on our ongoing processes, and that requires careful planning, especially for the laboratory and application activities. That is why we are already consulting with the users and the relocation company at this stage. It may seem a little early, but good preparation makes all the difference."

Collaboration with ASR Dutch Science Park Fund

The ASR Dutch Science Park Fund (ASR DSPF) will become the owner of the new building. This purchase is part of the previously agreed collaboration between a.s.r. and dsm‑firmenich to further develop the Biotech Campus Delft. The fund focuses on commercial real estate on the campus and offers accommodation to knowledge-intensive companies. This will promote cooperation between industry and universities and research institutes, resulting in the development of new knowledge, products and services that benefit the whole of society.