THOREAQ building permit approved expansion of Open Thor Living Lab set to begin!


The delivery of the building permit for THOREAQ by the city of Genk marks a milestone in the advancement of the Open Thor Living Lab. In March, the work on the test infrastructure and worksite will start. We would like to thank the city of Genk for the pleasant cooperation and professional approach in this project.

THOREAQ is based at ThorPark, a science and business park focusing on energy transition, smart manufacturing and smart city applications. The aim of this project is to develop a sustainable infrastructure that can test, validate and demonstrate innovations in the field of renovation techniques, improvement of indoor air quality, integration of energy systems in the built environment and industrialised manufactured shield components.  On the same site, KU Leuven’s ConstrucThor project will be established in close collaboration with THOREAQ.

The infrastructure project, realised by VITO, retained Beneens (building and interior) as the contractor through a selection procedure. Now works can start in early March, which will involve an entire team. Thus, the coordination of the project will be carried by TD KU Leuven. The design team, which has been working for some time now, consists of TM SVR JVO – SVR Architects & architektenburo jef van oevelen – (architecture), Multis (engineering techniques), Fraeye & Partners engineering firm (engineer stability), Avantgarden (landscape architecture) en Struktuur (EPB and safety coordination).

The infrastructure consists of two identical buildings, with the morphology of houses, which will be equipped with redundant techniques and a set of sophisticated measuring equipment. It will be available for companies so that they can test, optimise and demonstrate their innovative products and services full-scale and real-life in a safe and controlled environment.

By doing so, the THOREAQ infrastructure will accelerate the Flemish renovation market and energy transition, catalyse important cost reductions and quality improvements in buildings, and significantly strengthen the ecosystem of companies involved in innovation power and export potential.

This project is receiving support from the funding institutions ERFO and the Flemish Fund for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (agentschap innoveren & ondernemen).


Margo Colson
THOREAQ Project Manager & Senior Researcher

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