News

Building for Tomorrow with Cradle to Cradle Certified®: Belgium’s Project ZIN by Befimmo

When it comes to driving progress towards the Paris Agreement goals for climate neutrality, Europe’s building and construction sector is stepping up to the plate. Project ZIN, Befimmo’s initiative to redevelop two World Trade Center (WTC) towers in Brussels’ North District, is leading the way. 

Intended to showcase a new sustainable way of living and working -- and a new approach to urban development, the ZIN project will demonstrate circular design at scale. The 120,000m2 mixed-use redevelopment (slated for completion in 2023)  will eventually provide workspace for 3,900 Flemish civil servants along with 4,500m2 co-working space, plus living space, hotel accommodation, and leisure and retail outlets.

 A focus on circularity is an intrinsic feature of the project: 65% of the existing WTC towers I and II, both constructed in the 1970s, will be retained. Moreover 1.000 tons of finishing materials (e.g. wood panels, insulation, raised floors, carpets, concrete tile) will be reused on site or offsite, and over 85% of the waste materials (about 87.000 tons) will recycled (e.g. concrete, aluminium, glass). What’s more, with the exception of the concrete structure, the entire construction is designed for disassembly, ensuring the spaces and building can easily be readapted to new functions in the future.

To ensure the redeveloped WTC buildings are truly made for tomorrow, Befimmo has specified that up to 95% of all new materials for the offices must be Cradle to Cradle Certified®.

Using Cradle to Cradle Certified materials at scale is a ground-breaking move: one that stands to make Project ZIN a catalyst for turning the principles of circularity into practical reality for the building and construction industry.

According to Martine Rorif, Chief Operating Officer of Befimmo, the use of Cradle to Cradle Certified materials makes it possible to design and construct circular buildings at scale. In the case of the ZIN project, most of the concrete, glazing, aluminium window frames, load-bearing structures, new floors, partitions, plastering and floor coverings will be Cradle to Cradle Certified or equivalent. This enables the development to achieve key sustainability priorities including minimizing waste, eliminating pollutants, using materials that are safe for humans and the environment, reducing carbon, using renewable energy and implementing energy and water efficient processes. 

 


WANT TO SHOWCASE YOUR BUILDING FOR TOMORROW PROJECT FEATURING CRADLE TO CRADLE CERTIFIED® MATERIALS? Use this form to tell us about it, and we'll be in touch!