Utopia in Aalst nominated for Belgische Energie- en Milieuprijs

Since 2006, the Belgian Energy and Environmental Prize has paid tribute to more than 2,400 Belgians who, alone or through their organizations, have made exceptional contributions to work out a sustainable future at local, regional and national level. This year one of our projects ‘Utopia’ in Aalst was nominated. ‘Utopia’ is the new city Library and Academy for the Performing Arts located at the Pupillen site in the heart of Aalst. It is a multifunctional three storey building integrated into a heritage corner building with a new sleek building added to it. In the building, there are 700 running meters of bookcases, 31 classrooms, a concert hall, a youth workshop, 250 work and study places, and a cozy café. The project contributes to a sustainable future because MEP installations was designed with a primarily focus on sustainability. With regards to the building envelope, a number of passive measures were taken to reduce the demand for heating and cooling such as the application of high-performance outdoor sun protection with a reflective aluminum coating achieving a K15 (K-level) for the new building. Also in this building, the cooling as the heating is distributed at low temperature by means of underfloor heating and by post heating coils on the ventilation system. In the existing building, radiators are used for heating purposes, which are fed by the heat pump at a low temperature in the intermediate season. On the roof of the building an extensive PV system was installed with a production of 85 kWp, resulting in the proposed E-level. Finally, within the context of the BREEAM certification, an extensive monitoring and commissioning activity wass planned in order to guide the final building user in an optimal manner with the use of the provided installations and to enable possible optimizations in the future.