Brussels Exemplary buildings : relaunching innovation


Name of the Hosting Project Partner:
Contact person(s) for Study Visit (Name, e-mail):




Name of the Measure:

Exemplary buildings : relaunching innovation

Type : (Autonomous  or Part of an integrated action plan?)
Topic addressed:

  • Integrated energy
  • Land use planning
  • Innovative financing solutions
Managing Organisation (if not project partner, please provide name of the organization and website):

Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Urban Renewal of the Brussels-Capital Region

Geographic Coverage (Country/Region):

Brussels Capital – Belgium

Starting Date and Expected Ending of the tool or measure:

2007 – 2009

Beneficiaries / Target Group: homes, offices, schools and child care centres, a funeral home, etc.
Rationale (starting point, challenge, objectives, initiator(s) and stakeholders involved):

Relaunching innovation

Observers acknowledge that Brussels has been deficient in high-quality architecture for too long. Property development has favoured architectural conservatism and short-term yield [1]. The architectural, environmental and sanitary quality of the buildings has suffered greatly.

Rather than counting on the occasional production of some building and making a ‘media event’ of it, and in line with its method of starting from needs and initiatives in the field, the Region has organised three Calls for Proposals for Exemplary Buildings to financially encourage integrated eco-design approaches. It has defined four objectives for applicant designers: energy performance, the choice of eco-construction measures, architectural quality and technical and financial reproducibility (see opposite).

Trends and results
Over three years, 117 winning projects represen
ting more than 265,000 m2 have been selected by the Calls for Proposals for Exemplary Buildings. These include hundreds of collective and individual homes, offices, schools and child care centres, a funeral home, etc., totalling over 18.5 million euros in subsidies.

These calls for proposals have also heralded the advent of the passive standard, with hundreds of residences (new and renovated), several schools and office buildings, totalling 81,000 m2, to be built by 2013. Over 400 homes have also undergone low or very low energy renovation.

The Exemplary Buildings account for more than 16 % of construction annually: this is as if all of Brussels built 100% ecologically for one entire day each week. Taken together, these exemplary buildings allow millions of litres of oil to be saved and emmissions of over 13,000 tonnes of CO2 to be avoided each year.

Financing (costs? regional/national/European public or private resources?):

18.5 million euros in subsidies.

Implementation Modality / Methodology:

Calls of proposals

Internal organization of the implementation of the measure / Administrative Work-Flow:

Ministry of Environment

Performance Indicators  (if applicable):

CO2 emissions



13,000 tons of CO2

Strong features of the tool/measure:

Weak features and criticalities of the tool/measure:


From the starting, did you apply any change in design and implementation? Any corrective action?


What are the lessons learned for your region? For other regions? What would be conditions for potential transfer?


What are the next steps/follow up actions? (if applicable):


Additional comments:



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