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19. June 2012

"POWER HOUSE nZEC! Study Visit to two exemplary multi-family buildings in the Brussels Capital Region" - 19 June 2012, Brussels, Belgium

Sharing best practices is key! In order to boost the shift toward a low-carbon environment, it is crucial to learn from each other’s experience, whether it is in the field or via recognised online platforms. As such, technical, administrative and financing barriers could be overcome and European targets reached.

For this reason, in the framework of the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2012, Housing Europe (Coordinator of the POWER HOUSE nearly-Zero Energy Challenge initiative), the BUILD UP platform and Bruxelles Environment joined forces to organise a study visit to two housing projects. The featured buildings were winners of the Brussels’ call for projects of the ’Exemplary Buildings’ programme (started in 2007).

In total, Brussels now boasts 156 exemplary buildings, which earn this status not just for their energy efficiency, but by adhering to an entire range of ecological standards from construction through use. Brussels’ Exemplary Buildings (known as ‘Batex’ in French) have demonstrated that the passive standard is fully accessible and does not significantly increase costs for residential buildings, schools or offices. The ‘Batex’ are part of the Brussels-Capital Region’s policy for more Nearly Zero Energy Buildings.

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:

  • L’Espoir - Rue Fin 3-13, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean
    In 2004, the non-profit-making association "Maison de quartier Bonnevie" developed a cooperation project with another association of the same type “Coordination et Initiatives pour et avec les Réfugiés et Etrangers” (CIRE) and the Brussels-Capital Regional Housing Fund. Its purpose was to enable 14 low-income, poorly housed families from Molenbeek to acquire a home at an extremely moderate building cost.

    The selected families united together in an association called "l'Espoir" - or “Hope” - under the patronage of the CIRE. The families met at three workshops, after which a programme emerged for the future designers (an energy efficient building using materials with low environmental impact). The building sale took place within the framework of part II of the contract for the "Fonderie-Pierron" neighbourhood. The fund acquired the land as the developer-contracting authority and the mortgagee. The future homes were to be sold at cost-price to the members of the de facto association “l'Espoir".

  • Rue de la Brasserie 21 - 23, 1050 Ixelles
    The project consists of the construction of a block of 12 social housing units in rue de la Brasserie in Ixelles under the Malibran contract. From the start, the project has been based on the concept of passive construction. To achieve this, an advanced technical focus has been a  constant feature in the development of the project in order to highlight each detail and guarantee energy efficiency and eco-construction.

    In addition to this point, the parameters for urban integration, which are closely linked to eco-construction, have been largely developed as part of the global concept of sustainable development. The energy performance rating for each product that will be implemented has been analysed and the appropriateness of the product for the project has been studied in great detail in accordance, firstly, with the building parameter and, secondly, with the architectural, usage and operating parameters.

To find out more, please watch the video of the Study Visits!

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

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