Additional cooling capacity for monumental Van Nelle factory


Together with installer SPIE Nederland, APAC replaced the cooling system for the offices in the monumental premises of the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam. The new machines provide considerably more cooling capacity within the existing accommodation.


In 2004, APAC delivered two air-cooled water cooling machines to create a pleasant ambient temperature in the offices in the former Van Nelle factory. After almost fifteen years of loyal service, they were nearing their technical lifespan. The factory owner asked preferred installer SPIE to replace the machines and to expand the cooling capacity by 40%. The reason for this was that the heat output in the offices had increased significantly over the years. Another challenge was to provide this additional cooling capacity within the space created by removing the old machines.

. Due to the building’s monumental status, refurbishments are subject to strict rules imposed by UNESCO World Heritage, among others.

Our solution

SPIE and APAC analysed the possibilities. We calculated that it would be possible to install two cooling units in the existing area, with a capacity of 664 kW each. Compared to the two old machines, which supplied 480 kW each, this would provide the required increase of 40%. Project leader Rick Beekman of SPIE: ‘When we installed the new cooling machines, we were able to keep using the existing construction after making a number of small adjustments. All we had to do, really, was to replace the pipes and then connect them to the system. And we had to adjust the insulation on the new pipes.’

The result

APAC commissioned the new machines in early December 2018. Our specialists are now fine-tuning everything for maximum use. Thanks to the additional capacity, the Van Nelle factory retains the desired levels of comfort. Noise levels also fall within the standards attached to this monumental building.

Furthermore, APAC has been asked about the possibilities for heat coupling between the offices and the SmartDC data centre in the same building. By using the heat produced by the data centre to heat the offices, you can make considerable gas savings. We are currently studying this option.

Van Nelle factory, Rotterdam

SPIE Nederland

Office space

Replacement of old cooling system

It’s looking good!

Rick Beekman, project leader SPIE Nederland

Equipment used
Two air-cooled water cooling machines FX-Z-K 2722, each with a capacity of 664 kW.