FEATURED NEWS: PHA Landmark Brussels Excursion


Some American and Canadian architects and property developers (or real estate promoters) visit around ten passive model buildings in Brussels.

Narrator: “They are architects, contractors and building professionals from the United States and Canada. Since yesterday they’ve been in Brussels to visit about ten model buildings. These passive buildings, in terms of energy-saving efficiency, have become very famous in other parts of the world.”

Man 1: “Brussels is the first city in the world to have demanded passive building construction in its legislation. There are now other cities which want to do the same, like New York or Vancouver. We have come here to look for some inspiration. We want to see how Brussels made it.”      

Narrator: “Over 240 model buildings already exist in Brussels. It’s been a few years since passive design has become mandatory for all new building constructions; although the specific feature of this building located at # 1 to 4 Royal is that it involves a renovation of an existing building. In the United States, standards are getting stricter and stricter to reduce greenhouse gases, and stakes are huge for a big city like New York.”

Man 2: “I think I’ve seen many things here which I’d love to take with me while going back to New York.”

Man 3: “I was amazed to notice that, after all, in a building with a passive structure like that we did not feel like we were completely imprisoned in some sort of a ‘giant thermos’. We always have the impression that passive buildings are constructions that are fully (er… I’d say) hermetic, which is the case; but here you can open the window, you don’t feel imprisoned, the air is healthy enough, and we find ourselves in a totally pleasant environment.”

Narrator: “Many foreign delegates visit Brussels and its model buildings regularly. Our city once used to be a ‘bad student’ concerning CO2 emissions. Nowadays Brussels gets cited as a good example.”   

Woman: “Brussels has seen its energy consumption decreasing by 20%, with greenhouse gases being reduced by 21% between 2004 and 2011, all this indeed thanks to projects like Batex (?) model buildings that have helped us achieve such goals (or reach such targets).”   

Narrator: “The Brussels Government maintains its legislation for all new constructions. New stakes are now found in renovations. New allowances and new incentives could see the light of day within the next few years.”