52 Degrees Tower


52 degrees is an impressive 86-meter tower in Nijmegen. The challenge: how do you insulate more than 10,000 m² of roof surface with no connection to the municipal sewer system? FOAMGLAS® compact roof system turned out to be the safest, most sustainable solution thanks to its watertight insulation.

Mecanoo architecten, Delft
Flat Roof and Compact Green Roof

More than 10,000 m² of roof and no connection to the municipal water drainage system. This was just one of the challenges facing the design team for this new building for Philips Semi-conductors in Nijmegen. The 86-meter, 17 floor tower, with its name referring to the 52-degrees north latitude of its location, was designed by Mecanoo Architecten in Delft.

Due to the surface area of its façade this high-rise construction of this produces significant rain catchment upon the adjacent roofs. Calculations showed a requirement for the removal of 25 mm of precipitation per m². Fortunately, the special drainage/buffer layer within the 6,800 m² grass roof allows buffering for 40% of this rainwater. The remaining 60% of the rainwater is collected within gravel encasements at the base of the roof, allowing delayed soak-away into the ground. At first, the use of a loose laid insulation system with a loose roof covering was considered for the construction.

However with the expected intensive pedestrian use of this roof, there was a risk of damage due to the loose insulation moving, and the paved surface then cracking. The most reliable and sustainable solution was chosen. The FOAMGLAS® roof system, features a vapour tight and watertight insulation which does not compress under load. The waterproofing membranes are fully bonded to the insulation system.


FOAMGLAS® solution

used in this project

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