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19. September 2013

"POWER HOUSE nZEC! Study Visit to two exemplary multi-family buildings in the Brussels Capital Region" - 19 September 2013, Brussels, Belgium

An interesting study visit to two exemplary multi-family buildings took place on 19 September 2013 in the Brussels Capital Region in the framework of the POWER HOUSE nearly-Zero Energy Challenge! project.

The visit, dedicated to the energy experts working for the National/Regional Federations represented by CECODHAS Housing Europe, was organised by Bruxelles Environment, an initiative of the Brussels Capital Region.

During the day, participants had the opportunity to visit the following two sites and hear directly from the architects the technical aspects related to the projects:


  • Rue d’Ostende, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean
    The project is part of a contract of the Rives Ouest area of Molenbeek- Saint-Jean municipality. It is set at the corner of the Ostende and Vanderdussen streets, in a densely populated area. It has eight apartments of varied configurations, from one to four bedrooms, in simplex or duplex. These houses are designed to be managed by the Municipal Administration so as to offer low cost housing. The building complies with the “passive building” standard, thanks to thick layers of insulating material. The construction materials are chosen by taking into account their environmental balance, their origin and their low embedded energy.

    According to the principles of bioclimatic design, the architecture of the envelope of the building and the organisation of the plan in accord with the orientation contribute to reducing energy requirements. In this project, the poor orientation of the plot of land led to the design of bow-windows that are better oriented towards and designed to soak in plenty of sunlight. The living rooms are spread out, especially with respect to the best orientation that the plot of land offers. In the North on the other hand, the drilling work is limited and the premises requiring little heating are set up here, such as the shared premises (bicycle station and pushchair station), the entrance hall and the stairwell. Furthermore, all the apartments are accessible to persons with reduced mobility with corridors that allow wheel chairs to move and rotate easily. The doors are not only sufficiently wide, but also allow a good grasp of the handle and provide proper clearance of the door. It is necessary to use a lift to access the floors.

  • Rue Locquenghien 20-28, 1000 Brussels
    This project consists in a new passive building with 12 apartments, and in the construction and renovation of a passive building (and low-energy for the existing part) with a day care centre for children, plus 5 apartments. The project is located 20/28 rue Locquenghien.

    The building will be designed (budget, layout, exterior obligations) to satisfy the energy performance standards specific to the initial situation (new build or renovation). Particularly, passive standards will be used for the new part, and low-energy standards for the renovation work. A number of factors combine (highly effective envelope; high level of airtightness; high performance heat exchanger; thermal bridges minimized through design] to reduce the building’s heating requirements to practically zero. Cooling strategies (such as reduced external loads, and sunscreens on all facades facing West) will guarantee summer comfort. Likewise, energy-efficient equipment will be chosen, which will reduce internal loads, whilst remaining loads are dissipated (amongst other means) by a manually opening the windows at night. In this way, energy requirements will be lower. Remaining requirements will be satisfied, to the greatest extent possible, by renewable energy (solar thermal panels).

For further information on sustainable buildings in the Brussels region, please do not hesitate to visit:

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