Soap factory Heymans

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Soap factory Heymans

Policies and regulations
Urban Design
Promotion and production
Ownership and tenure

Main objectives of the project

The Savonnerie Heymans complex reflects a truly sustainable approach by recreating a real new neighbourhood of 42 low-energy and passive social accommodations including apartments, lofts, duplexes and Maisonettes.

Date

  • Rehabilitación: 2010

Stakeholders

  • Arquitecto: Marie Moignot
  • Arquitecto: Xavier de Wil
  • Arquitecto: Gilles Debrun

Location

City: Bruxelles
Country/Region: Belgium, Brussels

Description

Winning scheme of a European competition organised by the developer, the Savonnerie Heymans complex reflects a truly sustainable approach by recreating a real new neighbourhood of 42 low-energy and passive social accommodations including apartments, lofts, duplexes and Maisonettes. Although a 100% public housing scheme, thanks to the diversity of its program the Savonnerie Heymans provides a variety of spaces echoing the diversity of the people living in the very heart of Brussels. Glass-enclosed bioclimatic loggias characterise the entire complex, providing an effective acoustical and thermal barrier but also providing a sense of privacy.
On the 6,500m² site of a former soap factory less than half a mile from the Grand’Place, the social housing project creates a real “village” of 42 sustainable accommodations of different types including studios, 1 to 6-bedroom apartments, lofts, duplexes and Maisonettes.
Although a 100% public housing scheme, thanks to the diversity of its program the Savonnerie Heymans provides a variety of spaces echoing the diversity of the people living in the very heart of Brussels. Glass-enclosed bioclimatic loggias characterise the entire complex, providing an effective acoustical and thermal barrier but also providing a sense of privacy.
Considering Brussels’ rapid growth in population, the scheme features high density accommodations equipped with amenities such as a room for social meetings and events, a crèche and extensive public space: the “Mini-forest” garden, the 3D landscaped park and playground and the main promenade.
All the existing valuable - but not listed - historic buildings and elements such as the chimney, the main 19th century house on the street and the postal relay were retained and integrated into the complex (the 40m high chimney, for example, was used as part of the underground garage ventilation system).
The glass-enclosed bioclimatic loggias provide each housing unit with a state-of-the-art acoustical and thermal barrier requiring no expensive/complicated services to run and lowering considerably energy consumption. The Loft building has been treated one step further as thanks to super-tight insulation, the building is now considerate “Passive” and requires less than 15 Kw/m2 per year to heat.
Located on the site of a former soap factory, the decontaminated land now welcomes a high-density social housing complex that provides a series of private outdoor spaces allowing its occupants to interact easily with each other and creating a convivial, village-like atmosphere.
The scheme was intentionally developed around the concepts of sustainable development (socially, economically and environmentally) and relies on low-serviced buildings. The glass-enclosed bioclimatic loggias provide each housing unit with a buffer acting as a state-of-the-art insulation tool lowering considerably energy consumption and protecting from the city centre noises. They also allow sharing the variety of arrangements of the semi outdoor space of each individual unit.
Beside the loggias, the scheme also features a collective heating system for the entire site (cogeneration), sanitary hot water heated by 60m² of solar panels, rainwater harvesting and natural materials for insulation (hemp fibres, expanded cork etc.). Whenever possible, existing buildings and structures have been retained and reused.

Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB)

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Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB)

Policies and regulations
Financing
Promotion and production
Ownership and tenure

Main objectives of the project

Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB) (https://cltb.be/) develops affordable rental and co-ownership housing projects in Brussels for low-income households.

Date

  • 2020

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Community Land Trust Brussels (CLTB)

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Schaerbeek - Schaarbeek
Country/Region: Belgium, Brussels

Description

By April 2020, CLTB had delivered 49 dwellings and a further 59 were under construction. Its co-ownership housing is an example of the subsidy retention model of shared housing equity and therefore provides “permanently affordable” housing.[1] Under this model, housing is built or refurbished on land which is collectively owned by the community land trust. Home buyers apply to CLTB to buy a home and, if their application is successful, they do so for a price which reflects their income rather than the market value. They also sign a ground lease contract which compels them to lease the land from the CLT for 50 years and when this finishes, they can renew it. Alternatively, they can sell their dwelling to another household that meets the CLTB conditions of access; though dwellings can also be sold before the ground lease expires, if needed. However, in case of sale, the resident receives 25 per cent of the increase in value above what they paid for the dwelling and CLTB receives 6 per cent or EUR 3,000, whichever is the highest. The next household purchases the home at this sale price, which effectively neutralizes the remaining 69 per cent of the increase in value of the dwelling. Collaborative management of buildings and the organization are also core principles of CLTB. Before buyers move into their new home they participate in a ‘project group’ with other buyers in same complex which collectively agrees the final design and fit-out of the dwellings and also how the housing estates or building will be managed. After buyers move into their new homes it is envisaged that they will take over responsibility the management of the estate or building. Current and future CLT members can attend the Trust’s annual general meeting and participate in decisions regarding the management of CLTB, as well as sit on the board of directors of CLTB.

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