On Thursday, February 22nd, our colleague engineer Koen Feyaerts assisted in a panel debate on the occasion of the launch of TOTEM, a Tool to Optimise the Total Environmental impact of Materials. During Batibouw, Belgium’s largest construction fair, Koen Feyaerts demonstrated the benefits of the tool, in the presence of Flemish Minister for the Environment, Nature, and Agriculture Ms. Joke Schauvliege. Walloon Minister of Economics, Innovation and Digital Sector Pierre-Yves Jeholet and Joël Solé of Brussels Environment were also present for the launch of this interregional tool.
As the only design and engineering firm, VK Architects & Engineers assisted federal and regional environmental authorities (Public Waste Agency of Flanders OVAM, Public Service of Walloon Region SPW, Brussels Environment) in the development of the tool. VK amongst others beta-tested the tool and participated in workshops to enhance content and user-friendliness. VK will keep close contact in the future mainly with OVAM, in a continuous effort to expand and improve the tool.
With TOTEM, the entire construction industry can now make profound analyses on all building elements, also comparing materials in terms of production, maintenance, demolition … TOTEM assesses the environmental impact of all used materials during the total building life cycle. This tool is an addition to the use of widely used software to assess the energy performance of buildings, like “EPB” which mainly focuses on buildings-in-use. Until now, Belgian architects had to rely on international tools that were not adapted to the local Belgian situation.
As this is a free tool, the government and environmental agencies are counting on a rapid implementation. With its contribution to this tool, VK again underlines its prominent position with regard to sustainable design.
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