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Vaartstraat 94

Location Louvain, Belgium
Timeline 2013 - 2014

engineering of a conversion of an office building into a zero energy student's residence


Vaartstraat #94 involved converting an office building into a 256-room student housing. The entire structure of the existing building was recovered in the renovation. In order to meet the developer's ambition, an energy performance level of E0 has been reached. That is to say, a zero energy building, under Flemish regulations on residential buildings.

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  • Vaartkom 94
  • Jaspers-Eyers Architects
256 accommodations
9000 m²


As this involves a renovation, the parameters of the existing context had to be taken into account, such as orientation and compactness.

Residential leuven vaarstraat 7

This project concerns the conversion and renovation of an office building into a zero energy student’s residence. The architectural design by Jaspers-Eyers counts 256 rooms of various types.

The energy concept of VK applies various passive and active measures, allows keeping an eye on the comfort and health of the end-users. As this involves a renovation, the parameters of the existing context had to be taken into account, such as orientation and compactness.

Passive measures limit the energy demand to the absolute minimum. The building envelope is highly insulated, having K-level 16, with a minimum of cold bridges and high airtightness. The glazing percentage was optimized to allow for a maximum of daylight and to offer pleasant views, while maximizing solar gains in winter. On the other hand, heat losses are limited and overheating is avoided on hot summer days. In addition, the ventilation group functions with a heat recuperation of over 85%.

The remaining energy demand is mainly met by solar energy. Thermal solar collectors on the roof produce hot water. Photovoltaic panels with a 17% return generate electricity.

Just as the mechanical ventilation system, the system for sanitary hot water and heating is centralized for the entire building. The water is preheated by the solar collectors, stored in a buffer tank, additionally heated by the boiler and distributed through a communal hot water circuit. Per two rooms, a ‘satellite’ distributes sanitary hot water and heating, fed by the heat of the communal circuit.

Water consumption is limited by reusing rain water for the toilets. And finally, the use of materials and construction waste met sustainability standards, by resolutely opting for renovation instead of replacing the existing construction.

A study for acoustical engineering regarding the performances of the common walls ensures a quiet study and living environment for each of the 256 student rooms.

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