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Location Torhout, Belgium
Timeline 2008 - 2010

new office building


This head office for a public utility company is an important milestone in VK's portfolio with regard to sustainability. Through an integrated approach with CrepainBinst Architecture, the technical installations could be seamlessly integrated into the architectural design. The concept for the intelligent facade is remarkable. It heats up the outside air for the offices, contains viewing windows, and supplies energy via integrated photovoltaic cells.

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  • Infrax West
  • CrepainBinst Architecture
  • 2010 Chicago Athenaeum Awards - Green Good Design Award
  • 2009 2020challenge Award
9600 m²


A double outer wall system heats the outside air in between seasons, which ventilates the offices via open windows.

Offices torhout infrax 7 web

Infrax West wished to centralise all of their services in one location while underscoring their societal forerunner role. A sophisticated design that integrates architecture and design techniques resulted in a high quality, durable and energy efficient office building, with warehouse and storage area. The office building has 3 levels, with ground floor extension used as a communal dining hall.

With an overall insulation level of K44 and an energy level of E60, the innovative and sustainable design was recognised and honoured by the 2020 Challenge. Highly developed insulation and double glazing are combined with an integrated building and systems concept. The design calculations are based on detailed comfort and energy simulations.

Through concrete core activation, the building is heated in winter and cooled during summer. A borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) system with energy efficient heat pump forms the renewable energy source. A hybrid ventilation system also provides the necessary energy savings: natural ventilation in between seasons, supplemented by mechanical ventilation in summer and winter. In connection with this, an intelligent façade concept is essential. A double outer wall system heats the outside air in between seasons, which ventilates the offices via open windows. Photovoltaic façade cells control the borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) system. Water management too contributes to sustainability: rainwater for sanitary use, water efficient appliances and infiltration via green basins.

Structurally, there is great flexibility due to the large span; post-tensioned roof and floor plates support from wall to wall (16 metres) and are attached to narrow, steel shafts via weight-saving elements.

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