EnergyVille research center awarded ‘BREEAM Outstanding certificate’


Advanced Sustainability in High-Tech Research Centre

GENK, 12 September 2019 – EnergyVille 1, the research facility where part of the EnergyVille research collaboration is located, has officially received a BREEAM outstanding certificate, the highest reachable certificate in sustainable construction. Not only by means of sustainable energy management, but also by making sustainable choices with regard to materials, mobility, waste management, etc. the EnergyVille building was one of the first in Belgium to receive an ‘outstanding’ score in the ‘post-construction’ phase.

EnergyVille bundles the research of KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt on sustainable energy. This innovative research calls for an energy-efficient and sustainable building. EnergyVille 1, the first research building where the EnergyVille collaboration is located, was first put in use in 2016. It now receives a BREEAM Outstanding acknowledgement in the so called post-construction phase.

BREEAM, a worldwide acknowledged sustainability label

BREEAM is an international sustainability label with 5 scores: Pass – Good – Very Good – Excellent and Outstanding. BREEAM looks at sustainability applying 9 different themes: management, health & wellbeing, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, pollution and land use & ecology. Right from the start all these aspects need to be taken into consideration.

Limited impact on environment and surroundings

One of the BREEAM requirements is a minimal impact on the environment and the surroundings. Now that the EnergyVille building is in use, this is achieved by limiting the energy use. The electricity generation is provided by 1070 solar panels. The heat demand is met by using the waste heat of the laboratories as much as possible and by geothermal energy (KOR) and heat pumps connected to the climate control system. Additional CO2 control on the hygienic ventilation, smart light control and high-performing led lighting, the electricity use is further limited. The installation can also be connected to a future district heating network. Smart sensors enable problems or optimisation opportunities to be monitored quickly.

But it’s also in the details. From the start, the environmental impact of the building was taken into account. During the construction phase, sufficient attention was therefore paid to the protection of the natural elements present. Bigger trees located next to the access road were protected and noise hindrance during the breeding season was avoided as much as possible.

In the parking lot specific parking spots are assigned to carpool cars. The number of available spaces for single car users is therefore lower than the number of parking spots for bicycles. Electric mobility is supported by the presence of 19 charging stations.

A building focusing on its users

A sustainable building should also be pleasant for its users. Next to sustainable energy- and material choices, the comfort and wellbeing of the employees was one of the additional BREEAM requirements. All office spaces in the EnergyVille building are situated at the outer side which enables adequate lighting from outside. Distracting light coming from outside can be limited by automated blinds. Climate control will equally support sustainability and enhance the comfort of the employees.

A pioneer in sustainable construction

Next to SANGO, the energy-efficient lab facilities of Red Cross Flanders in Mechelen, EnergyVille is one of the first buildings in Belgium to receive an outstanding score in the post-construction phase. Sustainable and energy-efficient construction for enterprises and organisations is becoming ever more feasible. “Sustainability as demonstrated here, can be applied at so much more locations in Belgium. To highlight the choices made, the challenges and best practices, EnergVille organises a seminar in Feb ruary2020. We want to support other companies and organisation in making the right sustainable choices”, explains Ronnie Belmans, chairman of Campus EnergyVille.

For the realisation of this sustainable building following the BREEAM requirements, and for delivering the required registrations, EnergyVille consulted the Technical Services of KU Leuven, architectural bureaus Atelier Kempe Thill and Osar Architects; engineering offices Ney & Partners, DGMR, DWA and Studie10; construction firms STRABAG and Imtech Belgium; and Niko/Fifthplay. As BREEAM assessor Daidalos Peutz was responsible for the follow-up of the selected BREEAM credits, and for submission of the BREEAM portfolio at Watford (Great-Britain).

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