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Gemini-Noord is stripped-down, now the building starts

The stripping-down of Gemini-Noord already began in 2021, but this month building company Heijmans will start renovating this part of the colossal building that houses the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. Laboratories and teaching and study spaces will be renewed and expanded; the cost is 33 million euros. Yesterday there was a moment for signing contracts, the completion is scheduled for October 2024.

image Team V Architecten

Gemini-Noord, the part of the building that is located on the side of the Laplace square, has a floor area of 14,000 square meters and has been completely stripped. Now it's time to start building. In close consultation with the advisors and TU/e, the building was mapped out.

Jan-Willem Schellekens, head of the project office at Real Estate, says that the demolition was a challenging job: "We had to ensure that as few vibrations as possible would occur when stripping the building, because of the adjacent buildings and the research setups present therein, which could be disrupted as a result. So we had to monitor that continuously. This building also required careful asbestos removal. The labs that were located in Gemini-Noord will return there, but we will also add five new lecture halls and sixteen OGO rooms."

With the renovation of Gemini-Noord, TU/e has obtained a so-called 'BREEAM Excellent design certificate', a sustainability label for the realization of sustainable buildings. The starting point is to minimize the impact on the environment during the renovation, which includes maintaining existing elements, such as the concrete construction, and the use of sustainable materials. Yesterday afternoon, the contract with building company Heijmans, which coincidentally celebrates its centenary this week, took place in the stripped-down building. 

Read on below the photo.

Heat and cold storage

The northern and southern part of Gemini will also be connected to the heat and cold storage system (ATES) located under the TU/e campus. This system already heats and cools a whole series of buildings on campus in a sustainable way. This also makes Gemini completely gas-free.

Four years ago, Atlas, the renovated former main building, scored excellently at BREEAM, making it the most sustainable educational building in the world at the time. "One of our important tasks as a technical university is to contribute to a sustainable world. We do this through research and the training of engineers, but we also contribute to the renovation of our buildings," says vice-president Nicole Ummelen.

After the renovation and completion of Gemini-Noord, the stripping-down will start of Gemini-Zuid, located on the side of the Groene Loper (Green Carpet, ed.). During that period, Biomedical Engineering will temporarily move to the Fontys TF building, which is located just off campus on the Onze Lieve Vrouwestraat opposite the Student Sports Centre. Mechanical Engineering is temporarily moving into the Fontys S1 building on the TU/e campus. This building is located right next to the Traverse building, which is situated on the Laplace square.

A separate tender will be issued for that part of the renovation process, says Schellekens. The completion of Gemini-Zuid is planned for 2027.

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