Boasting a curved and contoured design and light-suffused interior, the building bears a greater likeness to a futuristic space station than a warehouse.

The NewLogic III building, an office and warehouse located in the Dutch city of Tilburg, is indeed a prime example of a green building constructed with an eye to the future.

Distinguished among the most sustainable industrial buildings across the globe, this structure’s environmentally conscious features include solar panels that infuse the grid with surplus energy, and commodes that flush with the aid of rainwater taken from the roof.

The building, called “The Tube” due to its cylindrical design, is the Netherlands head office and distribution centre of the multinational logistics company known as Rhenus.

This year, the company scored the highest rating in history for a distribution centre from BREEAM (British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), which assesses the sustainability of buildings.

BREEAM, which has analysed more than 569,000 buildings in 83 countries, granted NewLogic III an unprecedented score of 99.48%.

The 60,500m² warehouse and office space is packed with additional insulation. A rooftop photovoltaic system made up of 11,620 solar panels produces more electricity than the building uses, with excess power re-entering the grid, thus rendering the structure both energy and CO2 neutral.

Natural light incoming through large triple-glazed windows cuts down on the amount of electricity required for lighting; also making for a nicer place to work.

The building also includes a heat pump, LED lights that dim automatically, charging stations for electric vehicles, and technological features that monitor water usage and CO2 concentrations.

The Netherlands is becoming well-known for sustainable architecture. The Edge, Deloitte Netherlands’ headquarters in Amsterdam, has been called the world’s greenest office space, attaining the highest BREEAM score in its category.

The Tube and The Edge are prime samples of the global trend toward the development of greener, more sustainable buildings and cities; playing major roles in the circular economy, where materials taken from abandoned buildings are used to build new structures or at least to reduce the energy consumption of the old ones.

These building design projects are geared toward the elimination of waste, and the implementation of the reduce, reuse and recycle concept to protect the environment.

With the global population anticipated to reach close to 9 billion people by 2030, we must ensure that we have sufficient natural resources to meet future consumer demand.

A circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. It emphasises the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, and is geared to achieve the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems and business models.

Nothing created in a circular economy ends up as waste, unlike the ‘take-make-dispose’ economy. The circular economy will promote innovation, job creation and economic development, to the tune of a trillion-dollar opportunity.

The World Economic Forum has teamed with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for years to quicken the Circular Economy transition through Project MainStream – an intensive corporate initiative that scales circular economy innovations.

Join the circular—and sustainable–movement!