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Boydens Engineering

Hitting the sustainable mark at Van Marcke

Another project by Boydens Engineering that saw award-winning sustainable measures implemented, was for Van Marcke.

The leading Belgian specialist wholesaler distributes sustainable solutions for heating and water, wellness units, bathrooms and kitchen products, and is well-known for its expertise in heating, water and wide range of products.

True to its company philosophy of caring for its customers and the environment, its new 90,000m² distribution centre, designed by AAVO Architects (One of the four leading Belgian architectural firms under B-Studio), is water and carbon neutral, resulting in a BREEAM rating of “very good”, while its office building received an “excellent” rating.

Boydens Engineering has incorporated a range of eco-technologies in Van Marcke’s distribution centre, from heating and electricity to water management.

A Borehole thermal energy storage system (BTES) captures most of the heating and cooling demands of the distribution centre, allowing passive cooling in summer and heat pumps that extract heat from the soil to reduce soil temperature, keeping the building warm in winter.

BTES, combined with concrete core activation (CCA) properties of the floors separating the upper level workspaces from loading zones on lower levels also better regulate the climate indoors.

Solar panels generating up to 2 MWp will power the distribution centre’s electricity supply, including its automated warehouses, indoor lighting, air handling units and heat pumps.

A limited amount of green electrical current will be stored in fuel cells, marking Van Marcke’s first step towards storage of green electricity.

To further reduce electricity consumption, the majority of rooms are equipped with LED lighting and rooms that are not often in use are fitted with presence detection sensors.

Water is a natural resource that Van Marcke puts to use responsibly too. The centre’s roof is designed to collect rainwater that will be stored in water tanks with a total capacity of 500,000 litres. Van Marcke is also considering treating rainwater and greywater into drinking water according to demand.

And to ensure that energy and water usage are optimised, energy and water flows are meticulously monitored so that adjustments can be easily made where necessary.

Tivoli GreenCity: The true sustainable neighbourhood of the near future

Situated between the dense residential area of Laeken and industrial zone of the Port of Brussels, practically every aspect of the ambitious project by citydev.brussels has been engineered for sustainability.

With 30 per cent zero-energy houses that run on self-generated energy, efficient air handling units, optimal use of water and more, the landmark Tivoli GreenCity neighbourhood in Brussels is expected to have a BREEAM score of 93.2%, propelling it straight into an outstanding rating in the global benchmark for sustainability assessment.

The mixed urban development project was officially inaugurated in Brussels in June, marking the completion of what was formerly 4.5ha of industrial wasteland into 397 housing units, 10,000m² of public space, 770m² of commercial space, two nurseries and underground car parks.  30 per cent of houses are zero-energy, with PV panels that generate energy for these houses.

Common areas of the building such as lighting and lifts are self-sustained by energy generated by PV panels as well. Each unit is ventilated through individual air handling units that recover 80 per cent of heat.

When it comes to water management, grey water from showers and sinks is recovered and sent through a treatment plant while rain water is used for flushing of toilets, service taps and watering common green areas.

Carbon emissions released from the developments is also put to good use, redirecting it to the two nurseries in the neighbourhood.

These measures have transformed the Tivoli GreenCity into an exemplary project and will be a benchmark and inspiration for future projects.

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