Fortis scoops prize for sustainable renovation of Chancellerie cluster in Brussels (BE)

The restructuring project relating to the cluster of Fortis buildings between rue de la Chancellerie and rue Royale in Brussels recently received the Bentley Empowered (BE) Award of Excellence in the BIM for Sustainable Design category. This prize was awarded in Los Angeles by an independent jury of experienced Bentley software users and leading industrial experts.

Artist impression of the
Chancellerie Cluster , Brussels

The Chancellerie Cluster Restructuring Project was selected for its sustainable design and because of the amount of data involved. This necessitated state-of-the-art technology to scan the design in three dimensions. The renovation will respect the protected elements of the buildings and prepare the Chancellerie for the challenges of the 21st century. The work should be completed by June 2010.

Sustainable renovation: a firm requirement not an option
The project, initiated by Fortis Facility Management, was launched early in 2006. It involves renovating, rebuilding and refurbishing the 80,000 m² that comprise the Chancellerie cluster, where an atrium will connect five functionally and technically independent buildings. The entire cluster will comply with strict environmental standards.

"Wherever possible, we have opted for partial renovation rather than rebuilding completely," explains project coordinator Philippe Monserez, Divisional Manager of Fortis Corporate Real Estate Projects, Brussels. "The use of sustainable materials and environmentally friendly technical facilities was a firm requirement not an option in this project. The project makes optimum use of solar energy and natural light. It also incorporates systems utilising recycled rainwater, combined heat and power (CHP), geothermal energy, and cooling and heat-recovery ventilation. We are also planning to install a daylight detection and control system."

3D laser scanning of entire cluster
Getting such a gigantic project off the ground is a tremendous challenge. "We have already surmounted a great many obstacles," Philippe Monserez continues. "That's to be expected with a project of this size, but the need for reliable data was an additional factor. The roofs were virtually inaccessible and the ornate architectural features on some of the gables didn't make our job any easier. That's why we needed 3D laser scanning."

The buildings' position in the center of Brussels created another challenge. Some parts of the cluster, more specifically the gables in rue Royale, date back to the 18th century and are subject to very strict conservation rules.

A request for planning permission has been submitted to Brussels City Council. The demolition work is expected to begin in 2008. The entire project must be completed by June 2010.

Source: Fortis

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