Abattoir: Shaping a Sustainable Masterplan

January 24, 2019


Client: Abattoir NV
Period: 2017 – 2018


The Abattoir site in Cureghem (Brussels), with its well-known food market and urban farming on top of the Foodmet, plays an important part in the transformation of Brussels.

In 2009, Abattoir nv started a masterplan study to “strengthen the Abattoir vision of new commercial short-term developments that will not only be to the advantage of the traders, but also of the entire neighbourhood and its inhabitants”. Together with ORG – Organization for Permanent Modernity, they established a masterplan with a step-by-step plan for the coming 20 years where a harmony is created between the existing meat and food industry and new activities (such as housing, retail, education, …).

Abattoir gave 3E the mission of turning this Masterplan into an Energy and Sustainability Masterplan. Abattoir has quite high ambitions regarding low energy use, renewable energy possibilities and a social, ecological development of the site within and with its surroundings. 3E helped the Client with each of these aspects, formalising them with clear data, an extensive financial analysis and sustainability framework.

Energy Masterplan:

3E’s consultants performed a thorough screening of the actual energy use of the site and developed several possible future scenarios of the new development. They also analysed the potential for renewable on site, regarding:

  • Solar, being standard rooftop PV panels and BIPV on the historical market hall
  • Mid-sized wind turbines
  • Biomethanisation of on-site waste
  • Riothermal energy from the Canal adjacent to the site
  • Geothermal energy over the entire site

The financial modelling tool developed by 3E gives the possibility to identify the energy demand and generation of all the different functions taking into account the phasing of the development, possible changes of the development and costs inflations etc.

An overview of CAPEX, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and CO2 of all the different scenarios gives the Client a possibility to shape the Energy Masterplan.

Integrated sustainability

A sustainable masterplan withholds a lot more elements than only the energy aspect. 3E used the BREEAM Communities scheme as a guideline to assess the sustainability possibilities of the site. On site level, these topics are divided into 6 themes:

  • Governance, i.e. community involvement
  • Social and economic wellbeing
  • Resources and energy
  • Land use and ecology
  • Transport and movement
  • Innovation

Some of the implementations of this analysis are:

  • A water strategy plan for the entire site was made by 3E setting a quite ambitious goal of a water flow expels from the site of maximum 10 l/(ha.s), made possible by a mix of actions (such as rainwater buffering roofs, permeable materials for the ground surfaces, green roofs and a water basin)
  • Recuperation of on-site materials (e.g. existing concrete) and modular wall panels for the slaughter industry.