Political commitment, enthusiastic advocates and funding schemes rewarding energy efficiency measures made possible for Passive House to become the reference building standard in the Belgian Brussels Region. With policy negotiations and pilots started in 2006, all new buildings and deep retrofit projects are now complying with the Passive House Standard. The developments include apartment buildings as well as large office facilities and multifunctional spaces like Greenbizz.
Located on a long-abandoned and polluted 4-hectare industrial site near the city centre, BRUSSELS GREENBIZZ by ArchitectesAssoc is part of a large-scale 14-hectare urban development called TIVOLI, publicly funded by European FEDER funds and CITYDEV. TIVOLI includes both housing (+/-450 units, on site end 2014) and economic facilities in which GREENBIZZ (12.000sqm) holds the pivotal role.
It includes workshops for environment-oriented businesses and spin-offs (low-energy), an incubator (nzeb) and office space (passive), plus an array of extra amenities open to the public including exhibition space and café. Sitting in limbo between the more industrial quarter to the south and the more urban and residential one to the north, the project’s role is to create synergy: encouraging visitors as well as occupants, confirmed specialists as well as budding pioneers-to-be, adults as well as children to be part of the collective emulation housed within. Its dynamic, generous, and permeable organisation, its mission to create responsible employment, and its clearly expressed sustainable identity all carry the same message: sustainable design can and must be about so much more than implementing energy-efficiency and responsible material-sourcing … sustainable design must be about implementing hope.