A BREEAM excellent certificate for an excellent neighbourhood



On October 27th, 3E proudly delivered Wienerberger the BREEAM Excellent sustainability certificate for “De Duurzame Wijk” (The Sustainable Neighbourhood) in Waregem. The certificate confirms that De Duurzame Wijk meets a whole series of strict sustainability criteria, making it not only a very pleasant place to live, but also one with a proven high environmental quality.

3E acted as sustainability manager throughout the project, guiding the construction team (architect, contractor,…) on all aspects of sustainability, always considering affordability as a must.

Each step in the building process was based on a thorough assessment of the economic, environmental and social criteria. To evaluate and validate the sustainability of the solutions, the team chose to use the BREEAM sustainability label. Step by step, from site selection over design, construction, commissioning right up till the current monitoring, the project was evaluated using an objective set of criteria that included all sustainability requirements.


The seven dwellings have a good compactness, a passive envelope and good airtightness, resulting in a low energy demand which is met in a cost-optimal way with renewable energy from photovoltaic solar panels. Thanks to a clustering of the dwellings, the building lot cost in the total construction budget is relatively low.

Building materials were selected in function of their ecological properties. Ceramic materials have a long lifetime and require minimal maintenance. These same criteria were put forward when designing the common and outdoor areas.

Drinking water consumption is limited by maximising rain water recovery, made possible by the pitched roofs and the use of water-saving devices.

Existing biodiversity was protected and reinforced by the creation of a common park for the seven dwellings.

All dwellings provide excellent thermal and acoustic comfort and a healthy indoor air quality. Overheating is almost impossible as a result of the architectural concept.

All dwellings are accessible to anyone with temporary or permanent disabilities.
The project doesn’t seize previously undeveloped area and is within walking or biking distance of public transport and all amenities, incentivising the users to use their car less frequently.


3E continues its work as sustainability manager on this project by monitoring and evaluating the actual energy and comfort performance of the dwellings in the coming years. A first analysis demonstrates that the results are in line with the design. A complete analysis and report will be made available after winter.

Top picture, from left to right: client / contractor ERIBO (Eric Vandewiele and Ilse Vandewiele), initiator Wienerberger (Katrien Nottebaert) and BREEAM assessor 3E (Antoon Soete)