" Saints Pierre & Paul, new construction of 36 passive apartments in an urban setting"
Complete architecture assignment Architect
Type of project: Design-build public contract: complete architecture assignment
Contracting party: Régie Foncière de la Ville de Bruxelles
Location: Rue Saints Pierre et Paul 7, 1120 Brussels
Completion date and/or project stage: Delivered end of 2017. (Planning permission granted in 2015)
Brief explanatory statement covering, inter alia, the architectural and technical aspects
Nestled in the heart of a residential neighbourhood in the north of Brussels, the project closes off a fairly diverse square with a parking lot at its centre, and faces a large church and an uninteresting housing structure.
We chose to place the buildings back far enough to avoid creating an out-of-place profile and maintain continuity with the existing buildings on Rue Saints Pierre et Paul, while also taking advantage of the south-facing slope of the terrain.
The lot was originally wooded and therefore provided the square with a green space. We divided the building to maintain a “green corridor” between the back and front and between the planted and built sections.
The building completely matches the contracting authority’s programme: housing which includes a large mix of households (from studios to four-bedroom apartments) with a communal garden area. It promotes sharing and mutual assistance and combats exclusion.
The project was designed to be a true “urban village”.
High quality spaces
All of the apartments are dual-aspect, which reduces the footprint of interior corridors in favour of liveable space. They are all accessible to persons with reduced mobility. Two apartments are entirely designed for persons with reduced mobility. The apartments are distributed across two buildings and accessible from a central “tower” (staircase and elevator). Each apartment has either a terrace or a garden. The building includes 36 parking spaces in the basement (including two for persons with reduced mobility), a bicycle room on the ground floor (36 spaces) and two stroller rooms on the ground floor as well.
A communal green space with grass and a footpath is located at the rear of the buildings. Vegetable gardens can be planted in the private yards and there is also the option of setting up a shared vegetable garden.
Budget and worksite management
The project was implemented as a public contact design-build project. The cost of the building matches the amount initially calculated during the contracting authority’s call for bids.
The DHW supply is implemented via a loop connected to the communal boiler. An auxiliary loop passes through the CMV from the DHW loop and supplements the heating in winter. Each apartment has a double-flow CMV unit with a bypass system to allow natural ventilation in the event of overheating.
In order to meet the passive criteria, the insulation is external, which reduces thermal bridging as much as possible. Intermediate blower door tests were carried out during the project to test air-tightness. A final blower door test was carried out by “column” of apartments to ensure that the leakage rate meets the “passive house” criteria. The exterior joinery is constructed from superior-quality wood with high thermal performance (insulation installed in the profiles) and air-tightness. Exposed windows are protected from the sun with either overhangs, balconies or mounted sunshades, depending on the situation. A PHPP calculation was updated in accordance with the decisions made at the worksite in order to meet the passive label criteria for new housing in the Brussels region (annual heating consumption <15 kW/m2; air infiltration rate <0.6 vol/h; building overheating managed and not exceeding 5% of the time; annual primary energy consumption of 45 kWh/m2).
Energy efficiency achieved: passive certification
Net heating needs: 91,405 MJ/year and
Net cooling needs: 0 MJ/year
Primary energy consumption (heating, cooling, DHW and electrical): 398,195 MJ/year.