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Sustainability in architecture

Sustainability is far more than just saving energy. Even the beauty of the building is a determining factor. Ten aspects determine sustainability: surrounding; connectivity; lifetime; material use; waste; CO2 emission; health and safety; user value; energy flows; beauty. The total score for these ten aspects determines the degree of sustainability.

Moreover, if one of these ten aspects is insufficiently considered, the building will not be sustainable and will be demolished prematurely. In practice, this might mean that an extremely energy-efficient building in a totally inaccessible environment is not sustainable. And a building that scores highly in all areas but is considered ugly will not survive for long. In our view, the design process must be a broad exploration, and these ten reference points clarify what needs to be considered.

With the help of a clear plan, DHD helps you define your ambitions clearly. This enables you to understand how you will benefit and what you have to offer. We also know how to achieve these ambitions. Our strong awareness of costs means we can compare possible integrated solutions by considering all aspects of a building’s lifecycle. As a result, you can take decisions about how sustainable you want your building to be. Sustainability is also about the four basic elements of earth, water, air and fire.

The less impact the building has on those four elements, the more sustainable the building is and will be. But a fifth element is necessary: mentality. The mentality of a building’s occupants must be grounded in sustainability. Involving future occupants in the design process will make them more aware of sustainability, and that will benefit the total level of sustainability.


Sustainability in engineering

Many people talk about it, but DHD makes sure it gets built. We do that by designing from a sustainable point of view, applying sustainable techniques in design, and by communicating clearly about costs and feasibility. We do that with both feet on the ground and by realizing that a future without sustainability is no future.

Lowering energy consumption is of vital importance for the environment and, given the constantly rising cost of energy, for every organization. DHD helps building clients and occupants choose the best energy-saving solutions.


A building is also sustainable if it can be adapted to meet changing needs and occupants. This calls for inventively devised and integrated installations.

Sustainable energy

DHD promotes the use of sustainable energy wherever possible. That allows us to limit the use of fossil fuels, which will eventually make us less dependent on these sources.

Socially responsible

By operating in a socially responsible manner, DHD offers our staff a solid and secure foundation. From there, we provide consistent advice and promote the vision outlined above.

Effective and efficient use of water and materials

The effective use of water and materials is also part of a sustainable building. Re-use is also a realistic option. DHD ensures a good balance between installation technology and structural facilities. On the basis of the total life cycle costing, we make the right assessments and choices.


A building that is a pleasure to live and work in maintains its value. And it contributes to the health and productivity of its occupants, whether they are staff, patients or visitors. Building installations certainly help, but our view is that the fewer installations, the better.


To ensure a long lifespan, installation design must harmonize with how occupants use a building. This means that installations must be easy to maintain and manage. Moreover, DHD monitors the smooth performance of installations.


In selecting materials, DHD ensures that the cycle of materials on earth is not disrupted unnecessarily.

Read more about the next generation hospital >

Emergency Station Groningen
Nursing Home Vivaldi Zoetermeer
Emergency Station Groningen
A GP’s emergency station connected to a hospital.
Extensive experience in the design, construction, renovation and maintenance of healthcare.
Environments which are pleasant for both patients and staff.
Health is one of the most important facets of life. That's our core principle.
Martini Hospital Groningen NL
Hospital design which can easily change and adapt to future needs
Comprehensive concepts to create fully integrated designs for state-of-the-art hospitals.
Specialists in the fields of design, healthcare, innovation and technology.
Hospitals are highly complex buildings. Creating one is just as complex.
Use of fully integrated Building Information Models(BIM) as a design and engineering tool.
Every design challenge needs a special approach which leads to a unique design solution.
Our team works closely with the client to explore all choices throughout the design process.
High end hospital design integrated into its surroundings.
A flagship hospital for Suriname in a tropical climate
A respectful Medical Centre in an oak grove surrounding an historical villa.
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Read all about our latest projects...
  • Emergency Station Groningen
    Emergency Station Groningen
    Groningen, Netherlands

    The new emergency post in Groningen includes a GP’s emergency station (GPES) and the Emergency Response Department (ER) of the Martini Hospital. The task was to design an emergency aid centre next to the ER and subsequently to rebuild the ER internally and to double it in capacity.

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  • Moscow Medical Centre
    Medical Centre Moscow
    Moscow, Russia

    The new Medical Centre in Moscow will be situated on the grounds of an historically significant villa surrounded by a grove of oak trees.
    Dutch Hospital Design’s design solution was on the one hand to provide a respectful architectural treatment towards the historical mansion and on the other hand to retain as much of the existing oak trees as possible.

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  • Next Generation Hospital Slovakia
    NGH Bratislava
    Michalovce, Slovakia

    For a long time the capital of Slovakia has been looking forward to getting a new hospital facility. To have a broad and diverse choice of the design of the new hospital, Penta investments set out an international competition for the definition and design of the 70,000 m² building.

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  • Wanica Health Center, Suriname
    Wanica Health Center
    Wanica, Suriname

    A flagship hospital for Suriname in a tropical climate. Dutch Hospital Design and the Van den Berg group architects designed this new flagship hospital for the government of Suriname, a small country on the Northern side of South America. The hospital will be situated in the suburb of Wanica situated near Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname.

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  • The Asclepius!
    Sielnica, Slovakia

    Looking to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing, one can say that although the knowledge of healthcare was very advanced in ancient times, it cannot be compared to our current possibilities and certainly not to those that lie ahead. In the same way, hospitals built in ancient times cannot be compared with those of today. On the other hand, people now and then don’t differ too much. In fact, they are more or less the same and have comparable needs.

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  • Nursing Home Vivaldi Zoetermeer
    Vivaldi Nursing Home
    Zoetermeer, Netherlands

    The main challenge for the design of the new nursing home was to make it suitable for the uncertainty of future needs. Through a thorough analysis we realized that not the quality of nursing but the quality of living was the most important factor to achieve the best change of use for a building with an economic lifespan of 40 years or longer.

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  • Martini Hospital
    Groningen, Holland

    The design for the new Martini Hospital takes the theme of flexibility a step further. That led to an IFD status (Industrial, Flexible and Demountable Building System) awarded by the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

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  • NGH Michalovce
    Michalovce, Slovakia

    Dutch Hospital Design recently took part in a design competion for a new hospital in Michalovce, a town in Eastern Slovakia. The competition arose from Svet Zdravia’s (client) ambition to achieve similar high healthcare standards to Western Europe and to consolidate various healthcare facilities in the region into one complex in Michalovce. The project involves a minimal renovation of the existing hospital of about 9,000m² and the addition of a new building of around 13,000m².

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  • Haga Hospital
    The Hague, Holland

    In 2008, the Haga Hospital started a programme of innovation to improve working procedures. This programme consists of online services for patients, digitization of information flows, and a more patient-centred approach.
    The Haga Hospital, a large hospital that occupies a number of sites in The Hague, also decided to group all care services in one facility. That meant moving the Juliana Children’s Hospital to the main location, which has also been renovated and enlarged with a new building.

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  • Gelre Hospital, Zutphen - Poli pilot
    Gelre Hospital
    Zutphen, Holland

    The new Gelre Hospital opened its doors on 2 October 2010. This is the first Dutch hospital financed entirely by the hospital itself, instead of by the state, which was common until recently in the Netherlands. The hospital is smaller than the old building, and that meant that many logistical and efficiency issues had to be addressed.

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Martini hospital pavilion
Medical Centre Moscow
UMCG proton therapy facility
NEWS: Dutch Hospital Design presents on Design and Health Symposium Milan 2018
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NEWS: Martini Pavilion wins 3rd prize
NEWS: Dutch Healthcare best in Europe
NEWS: How to respond to the future of healthcare
NEWS: Dutch Hospital Design designs a new Hospital for Michalovce
NEWS: IBA selected to install UMCG Proton Therapy system
NEWS: Visit of Singapore delegation in Alkmaar
NEWS: Martini Pavilion nominated for the architecture award 2015 Groningen
NEWS: Launch Health~Holland Guide 2015-2016
NEWS: Italian universities visit Martini Hospital
NEWS: Dutch Hospital Design speaks at BUILDING HEALTH BUCHAREST 2018
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