Social housing - R²D² Architecture


R²D² is an architectural firm whose purpose is the construction of durable residential, commercial, industrial or public facilities. Their Ecological housing complex is designed to integrate into its surroundings, in the urban and social context, and in its architectural context.Their project of social passive housing received the 2011 Belgian Prize for architecture and energy and the 2012 Belgian environment and energy award. This project is the first ecological housing complex which is designed to integrate into its surroundings, in the urban and social context, and in its architectural context, as evidenced by the façade’s Art Nouveau stylized ironwork.

During the design and construction of the project the following aspects were considered: energy consumption during the project (construction / gray energy), energy consumption during the life of the building (the operation), the energy required to any future renovation (decades), water consumption, and finally the careful selection of raw materials (sustainable materials, sound production, minimisation of grey energy etc.) and execution (pollution and nuisances on site).

As regards in particular energy use, the project has opted for a passive construction logic. The energy demand for heating is lower than 15 kWh / m² per year. The passive structure results from a study carried out in the energy consumption directly related to the components of the inner and outer walls. The openings of the facades are carefully calculated to optimize the natural lighting without losing too much energy. Much attention has been paid to the prevention of heat loss, through testing ("Blower Door Test") in order to meet the  required target of 0.6 h-1.

Considerations regarding air quality, thermal comfort and low energy consumption are incorporated in the design of the heating and ventilation. Moreover the façade plays a pivotal role, demonstrating the integration of Art Nouveau with sustainability considerations.

Economic performance

Reduced energy cost

Environmental impact

Reduced energy consumption incorporated in the design and energy savings during construction.

Further information

Source Picture: R²D² Architecture © 

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