January 2012 In the Orion project for Wageningen University (WUR), Ector Hoogstad Architecten in collaboration with its design partners DGMR, Valstar Simonis and Aronsohn, has developed an entirely new type of floorslab. The new system combines large spans, concrete core activation, acoustic absorption and installations (data cabling, lighting, fire alarm) in a smart way into a minimal construction height. Calculations made during the design stage already showed remarkable results, but a pilot monitored by building physics specialists Peutz now shows effects nothing short of spectacular: cooling as well as heating capacity are more than 50% higher than predicted beforehand. The system consists of a concrete slab with a recess on the ceiling side that is filled in with folded and perforated sheet metal, with sound absorbing material in between. The design was further improved in collaboration with general contractor Heijmans and M&E contractor Burgers Ergon. This “invention” is a perfect example of an integral design approach with a staggering result, that will be further developed in future projects.