In view of the high internal heat load, the building is primarily designed to keep cool. The roof and the south façade have been kept slightly apart from the building itself, the space in between being naturally ventilated. On the east and west sides the roof juts out above the building to reduce incoming solar radiation and safeguard a clear view. The heating and cooling system uses a water heat buffer. During the summer months cold is extracted from the buffer and heat released into it. In the winter the heat is extracted from the buffer.
If necessary the lock water can be used as a source of heat or cold by means of a heat pump. During the winter heat is recovered from the ventilation air. The internal heat load, the high level of insulation, and the underground location of the ground level means that heating requirements during the winter months will be slight. The soil around the building not only results in a neutral soil use, it also ensures that the climate in the plant rooms can be kept constant.
The administrative building, located in the area above the grass roof, boasts characteristic slanting façades. The glass east and west façades are turned in such a way to create an optimal view of harbour and locks. The closed south façade forms a whole with the roof and offers protection against heat and sun. The glass east and west facades ensure the best possible view of the passing ships.