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Renovation day highlights Belgian government's energy-saving drive
Renovation is nothing if not positive. That is the message of Brussels and Wallonia’s ‘Day of Renovation’ (journeedelarenovation.be) via which more than 6,500 members of the public have been able to visit some 130 recently renovated and ‘work-in-progress’ projects.
In this sixth edition, the organisers hoped to attract an even wider public. There was a choice of 33 houses, flats, duplexes and lofts to visit, including 19 in Brussels. The aim was to enable people unsure of how to tackle their renovation plans to talk to architects, entrepreneurs and home-owners themselves on how best to do so.
The 27 September event showed not only that more modern houses can be given a high-tech energy-saving makeover. In Uccle, a typical Brussels house built in 1920 will be made into two duplexes with two terraces. The energy-saving aspects in the renovation include renewing the boiler, insulating the roof and walls and completely overhauling the sanitation system.
Renovation can be successful in any type of building too, as UP! Architect firm’s Stéphanie Lemaître said, welcoming people to her former workers’ cottage home, now totally transformed, in Auderghem.
“We have replaced all the technical installations. We have completely redone the electricity, heating, hot water and ventilation systems. We have no choice in these type of houses, everything is obsolete so you have to start from scratch and reconstruct everything,” said Lemaître. She said the renovation day also allows architects like herself the chance to exchange their knowledge and expertise. “This is architecture too. It’s sharing and openness.”
Renovation work to save energy is not only important, profitable and benefits architect and home-owner alike. It is also becoming mandatory. Under the Brussels region’s Climate Plan 2030: ‘The right energy for your region’, anyone buying or selling a flat or house must provide an energy certificate (PEB – performance énergétique des batîments) for it.
In addition, according to this law, every five years, home-owners must carry out works to improve the building’s energetic performance, for example by installing better insulation or allowing the production of renewable energy.