Renovating and converting a monastery into a university

"I'm currently involved in the renovation and conversion of a monastery into a university," namely the Jeroen Bosch Academy of Data Science. And I'm working on an industrial new-build project for a milk powder manufacturer.

It's my task to create a functional building. I'm actually designing all the mechanical engineering systems for these projects. These include air-handling units, sanitary facilities and HVAC. My task is to create a functional building. Two very different projects, each with their own challenge.

The challenge in terms of converting the monastery is to come up with a design that does justice to its ancient character. An old building with new technology and an approach which takes account of the feasibility, the maintenance and the client's specifications, while retaining the original character of the spaces.

As far as the milk powder factory is concerned, the challenge is the material choices. Work at the factory involves high temperatures, temperature fluctuations and the use of chemicals which affect the pipework. A lot of sustainable techniques have been used.

The university opened in September and is the first in my home town of Den Bosch. Discussions about it had been going on for decades. It has been an honour to have worked on it."

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