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Issue #21

SUSTAINABLE BUILDING AND LIVING, THROUGH AND THROUGH

e4

The “Sustainable Neighbourhood” in Belgium explores the extent to which sustainability is feasible and affordable, whilst using classic construction methods and familiar ceramic materials. Based on the Wienerberger e4 concept (ecology, economy, energy and emotion) the terraced houses provide optimal living comfort.
grey brick facade apartment building front view De Duurzame Wijk’
© Studio Claerhut
grey brick facade apartment building front view De Duurzame Wijk’ bike
© Studio Claerhut
grey brick facade apartment building front view De Duurzame Wijk’
© Studio Claerhut
grey brick facade apartment building front view De Duurzame Wijk’
© Studio Claerhut

SUSTAINABLE BUILDING AND LIVING, THROUGH AND THROUGH

e4

The “Sustainable Neighbourhood” in Belgium explores the extent to which sustainability is feasible and affordable, whilst using classic construction methods and familiar ceramic materials. Based on the Wienerberger e4 concept (ecology, economy, energy and emotion) the terraced houses provide optimal living comfort.

The concept of sustainability was integrated into the project from the outset, by carefully selecting the location – on the edge of the city, circled by a cluster of seven homes. Despite providing multiple housing units for seven families, the floor area of the constriction remained nearly the same (increasing from 30 % to 33 % of the land).

grey brick facade apartment building front view De Duurzame Wijk’ bike
© Studio Claerhut

ENERGY CONCEPT

The first step was to create the optimal building envelope. The next elements to be considered were energy-efficient devices and renewable energy. So far, the houses have performed significantly better than expected. With E7/E12 and K16/K19 ratings (for mid-terrace and end-of-terrace homes respectively) the houses are ‘future-proof’ and achieve the passive house standard of 15 kWh/ m2/year.

WATER MANAGEMENT

For rainwater, the goal is to achieve water neutrality. This means that as much rainwater as possible is collected and reused. The houses have sloping roofs with ceramic slates. Each home has a 5000-litre rainwater, which is connected to the toilets, a maintenance faucet, and a pipe for the washing machine. Excess water leaves through an overflow to a common, gravel-filled, filtration basin in the communal garden.

grey brick facade apartment building front view De Duurzame Wijk’
© Studio Claerhut
Wienerberger De Duurzame Wijk' - The Sustainable Neighbourhood, Wielfaert Architects Fris in het Landschap
© Studio Claerhut

GOOD INVESTMENT

The final cost of construction was 1,100 euros per m2 plus VAT for the mid-terrace houses and 1,210 euros per m2 for the two end-terrace homes. Almost a quarter (24 %) of this cost was spent on the superstructure, which has a big impact on the performance envelope. The conclusions are clear: opt for a sustainable, yet affordable, building envelope, and prioritize collective heating, with specific consideration given to a renewable energy plan.

Traditional building methods, using typical clay building materials, are perfect for affordable projects with a long service life, and do not compromise on quality or aesthetics.

interior living room peopla modern De Duurzame Wijk’ The Sustainable Neighbourhood
© Studio Claerhut

HIGH QUALITY LIVING OVER GENERATIONS

Living comfort was paramount. The solid construction minimiz- es fluctuations in temperature via its thermal buffering capacity. To achieve optimal sound insulation, the houses are separated by a concrete slab and there are double partition walls between the houses, which are filled with acoustic insulation. In addition, a flexible joint separates the exterior façades.

To allow the homes to evolve over the lifespan of the residents, detailed consideration was given to accessibility and adaptability, including minimized thresholds at the entrances, wide doors, turning space for wheelchairs, a staircase suitable for a stair lift, and more.

The project achieved BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) certification with a rating of “Excellent”. It is only the second residential project in Belgium to achieve such a high score.

Facts & Figures
  • Project name
    De Duurzame Wijk’ – The Sustainable Neighbourhood, Waregem, Belgium
  • Architect
    Wielfaert Architects, Landscape architect: Fris in het Landschap
  • Used products

    Terca Eco-brick Linnaeus, Koramic Bellus slate engobe, Koramic Fleece Plus underlay, Porotherm PLS 500, Penter customized water-permeable pavers

  • Year of completion
    2016
  • Energy Data
    Primary energy consumption for heating: 7,436 kWh prim/year Net energy consumption for heating: 9 kWh/year CO2 emissions: -477 kg CO2 / year
Wienerberger Eco Brick Facade color variety facade bricks

Façade

Terca Eco-brick – Belgium

Koramic Bellus Wienerberger grey

Roof

Koramic Bellus – Belgium

Koramic Fleece underlay Plus blue Wienerberger

Roof

Koramic Fleece Plus – Belgium

Porotherm PLS 500 wienerberger clay brick

Wall

Porotherm PLS 500 – Belgium