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Brussels Living Lab

Location
Auderghem, Brussels

Key Partners

Lead: SERCO

ACE

VIAS

TPF

Main Solutions
High Evaporative Green Roof
Energy Monitoring System

Description

The Living Lab building is De l’Autre Côté de l’Ecole (ACE) school building, home to a Freinet pedagogy school. The LL will be renovating a large area, to bring it up into use for the educational needs of the school and in line with the latest environmental and regulatory requirements of the Green Deal. Renovation generated data about energy and carbon performance and a series of neighbourhood engagement activities centred on the school and spreading across the Commune of Auderghem, will communicate and leverage over the long term, the benefits of establishing a Green Neighbourhood from clustering together, diverse and standalone buildings. The aim will be to support evidence-based decisions as to the business, socio-economic and environmental value from doing so. The retrofit must be reflected in terms of the following:

  • internal thermal comfort, acoustics, natural light

  • respecting the energy performance standards in force and aiming at the implementation of durable materials or reuse or short circuit

  • reducing it’s carbon footprint and energy consumption.

It aims to create sustainable, energy-positive, zero-emission building by implementing innovative technologies while complying with green public procurement rules. The renovation will serve as a base to stimulate wider engagement with the neighbourhood Commune of Auderghem and communicate the benefits of PROBONO innovations as well as the merits and value for wider discussion amongst neighbours for GBN collaboration. It must  also reflect the Freinet pedagogy in its spatial, social and learning organisation.

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Schematic of ACE areas for renovation

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Innovations and Technological Advances

Technology 1: Green Roof

 

The renovation requirement for the Green Roof technology / innovation is to meet the needs resulting that currently, the roof is old, dating from the building's construction (back to 1998) and is deteriorating and leaking to some places. In October 2023, a technical team from our project partner, Soprema from their Belgium Branc, undertook a site visit to ACE to inspect the roof where the greening technologies will be installed. The technicians took samples of the insulation and waterproofing layers for further analysis. Since then, iterative discussions have taken place between Soprema and ACE with regard to how and where the technical solution for the green roof, such as surface areas, types of insulation etc., can best occur.

 

Technology 2: Energy Monitoring System 

The installation of utility monitoring equipment in the ACE building for data driven decision making, and the deployment of sensors and monitoring systems, took place throughout late 2023 for both the gas and the electricity. The expected results from these sensor and monitoring installations are:

 

  • Having a clear vision of the gas consumption

  • Improving management of the overall energy consumption

  • Reducing gas emission thanks to a better controlled consumption

  • Linkages to the Demand Response Platform (See below).

 

An important innovation that occurs from this sensor and monitoring activity at ACE, is the specific linkages to the last point of the expected results shown above, namely, links with the GBN Demand and Response Platform that is carried out in WP4, T4.2. This uses project partner TPF’s proven baseline technology for metering different utilities: electricity – gas – warm energy – cold energy - water then linked to the Energy Optimisation AI Platform from project partner, STAM at Building level and Community level and GBN Sensors linked to Smart IoT gateway from project partner, TS. HVAC specific applications will match local situations, initially designed for the Brussels LL, with subsequent replication versions integrated into the GBN Digital Twin for Porto, Madrid, Aarhus, Prague and Dublin.

Social and Behavioural Innovation

ACE Neighbourhood Engagement & School Curriculum 

The neighbourhood engagement strategy that ACE has previously undertaken and is planning to carry out, will become a focal point for establishing the relationships, trust and essential dialogue between the many different and diverse neighbours in the commune that can lead to the facilitation of GBN discussions and eventually, GBN development.

 

As an integral part of the ACE neighbourhood engagement strategy, mobility has been identified as a critical element that links the many different stakeholder groups and issues across the Auderghem neighbourhood. School, students, parents, staff and residents along with the wider and more transient stakeholders such as businesses and commuters, share a common ground with regard to the issues arising from congestion, air quality, safety and ease of commute into, from and across the commune.

Intended for the renovation will be adjustments to aspects at the school entrance to ease access, improve safety and the storage of student and staff bicycles. ACE has already submitted a request to the commune to lower the sidewalk in front of the bicycle parking, involving the region in the process. This will result in a change that will enhance the safety of both students and teachers.

 

CERNA Survey

As per all of the PROBONO LLs, Brussels will undertake a CERNA study as part of their social and human centred tasks and in support of the ACE neighbourhood engagement activities. The study will engage the key ACE and wider Auderghem / Brussels LL stakeholders. The intent is to ascertain whether from the findings of a successful CERNA survey, there is an appetite and opportunity, to lead to a far wider and far reaching, GeoDesign co-creation process, as is being conducted in both the Dublin and Aarhus LLs. Thus, providing a significant impetus in understanding and relationship building in support of the Brussels LL development process towards a GBN.

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Contact Information

Living Lab Leader:

Laurence Marzell

laurencem@wholesystemapproach.com

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