Vandermaelen Brussels

July 5, 2016


Client:  CityDev
Location:  Brussels, Belgium
Period:  2014 – 2015
Size:  31 dwellings
Team:  CEI De Meyer (groupe BAM), Atlante, M&R Engineering, 3E, Establis, Eole


After a first collaboration with the heat network project of Tivoli, the collaboration between 3E, CityDev and Immo BAM continues with the project Vandermaelen.

Won in July 2014, 3E implemented sustainable and energy values to develop these new dwellings in the heart of Molenbeek. The Vandermaelen project consists of 31 passive dwellings including 10 NZEB dwellings.

As a sustainable designer, 3E sees all new projects as a potential to improve neighbourhoods and the entire city. This drives the company’s sustainable and energy concepts and federates the design team.

A considerable reflection on the shape of the building with the architect Atlante has enabled the team to improve the solar access for all dwellings and for the neighbouring buildings: the morphology keeps the angle free for sun light. Moreover, the height of the building also enables sun light to access the neighbouring buildings in front of the new street. Finally, the north face is orientated in order to capture sun energy, and the stairs are set in shadow areas…

All dwellings are designed to be passive with high insulation, low air leakage and high efficiency mechanical ventilation. After analysing different scenarios, the primary energy consumption was reduced with a collective boiler room equipped with a CHP unit and gas boilers. The energy concept has been integrated by M&R engineering and solar panels are covering 32% of the primary energy consumption of all dwellings. 10 dwellings are 0-energy and the contractor CEI de Meyer offers the possibility to 5 others owners to be upgraded into a 0-energy dwelling.

90% of the front facade is prefabricated with a 0-waste module composed of renewal resources such as FSC wood. In this very urban neighbourhood, a new biodiversity has been developed, in collaboration with the landscape architects Eole, resulting in a green facade for the new street, planted roof terraces, vegetable gardens, fruit trees and nesting boxes. The block is designed as a collective garden where people can meet and participate in shared events. The water management with roof top storage, rainwater tank, grey water recycling and infiltration wady is an exemplary work for Brussels.