HUB.BRUSSELS : Brussels Retrofit Living Lab / Modul’air

Apartment buildings constructed in the second half of the 20th century that have not been or have hardly been renovated present today numerous deficiencies in terms of their energy efficiency and the comfort and health of their occupants.  Poor thermal insulation and airtightness of the building shell, the presence of thermal bridges, the absence of a ventilation strategy, and dilapidated systems are all causes. Against this background, the renovation of the cultural heritage of housing societies presents a real challenge. Some modern renovation solutions make it possible to rethink how to transform the habitat by actually refocusing on the occupant’s quality of life, including while the work is in progress.  

The Modul’Air project intends to study the application of prefabricated façades for renovation, by combining them with integrated ventilation systems, through the establishment of an innovation partnership. The project aims to renovate a 3-storey (ground level + 2) apartment building. The technical principle is to duplicate the existing shell from the outside, by means of manufactured panels into which many types of technical equipment, optimally installed off-site, can be integrated. This solution speeds up the construction site phase and reduces disruption to the occupants (fewer procedures on the inside, speed of delivery, etc), while providing higher quality delivery and a comprehensive solution to a variety of existing issues.  The innovation partnership represents a new kind of public procurement, which will be developed and supervised by the project partners with the drafting of a detailed selection document and an appropriate monitoring and validation procedure.

Various prefabricated façade renovation strategies with integrated ventilation systems will need to be studied and put into perspective in terms of benefits both to the occupants and to the project manager. This task of researching and developing an appropriate and replicable solution will be led by the consortium appointed by the innovation partnership. Various studies will be integrated with this, including in particular concepts of architectural and environmental compatibility, of safety guarantees in terms of stability and fire risk, of benefits in terms of comfort and use for the occupant, and of course of energy efficiency. In parallel, a prototype of the system can be put in place.

In order to validate the technical feasibility of the envisaged solution and prevent as much as possible any implementation problems. We will thus have optimal knowledge so as to ensure a fast and effective implementation, that will be monitored by living lab actors. The project will make it possible to assess the practicality of the “innovation partnership” type of procurement, as well as the suitability of façade prefabrication in renovation.

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with the support of

Technical sheet of this architecture video clip
Journalist : Emma C. Dessouroux
Cameraman : Emma C. Dessouroux / Les Délires Productions – Emanuel Pinto / EpiProd

Editing : Emma C. Dessouroux, Cristina Dias
Postproduction: Cristina Dias
Music: Gabriel Govea Ramos
Direction : Mister Emma
Production : Les Délires Productions

Translation : MDR Translations
Subtitles : Orico Studio

Speakers : Mohammed Boucham (Architect, Technical Director, S.C. Alliance Bruxelloise Coopérative s.c.r.l.), Samuel Dubois (Project Leader, CSTC – Labo Rénovation), Ludovica Della Camera (Labo « Rénovation & Patrimoine », CSTC), Julie Hoogewys (Ir. architect, AAC Architecture), Pierre Eyben (Engineer architect, Ney & Partners/WOW), Jérôme Verslype (Construction engineer, TS Construct), Gilles Godart (Manager, Easy’GO WOOD)


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