Energy concept for passive kindergarten – Brussels

January 25, 2019


Client: Koninklijk Atheneum Etterbeek
Period: 2011 – 2013
Size: 950 m²
Team: EVR Architecten


The new 950 m² kindergarten of the Royal Atheneum of Etterbeek in Brussels contains 10 classrooms and one multi-purpose central room that also serves as a covered playground.

From an early stage in the project, 3E closely supported the building architects in delivering a fully integrated concept that is sustainable. The main focus of the project was to build a high energy performance, healthy and comfortable building that would be socially and environmentally sustainable, yet remain financially reasonable. The kindergarten, commissioned in 2013, is the first passive Flemish school in the Brussels region.

The passive standard (with total net heat and cooling demand under 15kWh/m² and a maximum E-level of E55) were used as references. 3E worked out an integrated energy concept for the building layout, envelope and systems, based on dynamic simulations of building behavior, with very high criteria for thermal and lighting comfort. Special attention was paid to managing temperatures in warm months, due to the high internal heat gains caused by high occupancy rates. The design of the multi-purpose room, planned with a glass façade and requiring a maximum of natural light, was also carefully examined in order to reduce losses at reasonable costs.

The simulations and analysis of 3E highlighted that although most passive buildings would be built with triple glazing for all windows, using double-glazed windows with additional insulating cells blocks was sufficient to reach required energy criteria. The building also integrates night ventilation and heat recovery bypass systems.