Of course sustainable design is not a separate discipline. In itself, ecologically aware design is an issue in all disciplines. The architects and engineers at VK Architects & Engineers are therefore also aware of the importance and necessity of this aspect. They also know that they are supported internally in this approach by several experts.
The energy concept is based as far as possible on passive measures combined with renewable energy production, with a view to optimal comfort for the user. To minimise the total environmental impact of a project, VK follows the BREEAM philosophy. This specifically accounts for aspects such as water, ecology, materials, health, management etc. The life cycle cost of the project is also analysed to come up with the most efficient solutions. Energy and maintenance costs are central here.
Sustainable and maintenance-conscious design is determined by the concept, choice of materials and components and by long-term operation (maintenance costs), environmental friendliness and efficient energy use.
VK distinguishes three important pillars here:
- an ecological pillar: energy, materials, transport, waste, water etc.
- an economic pillar: profitability, lifespan, flexibility, determining correct dimensions etc.
- a social pillar: comfort, safety, aesthetics, integration into the surroundings etc.None of these aspects are separate from the others: they are intertwined, making an integrated approach important. Common sense prevails over high-tech applications here.This integrated approach is based on less energy, more comfort and better usability. It also takes the different ‘life phases’ of the project into account: design, implementation, use and operation, possibly reassignment and demolition. Our experts study various scenarios here with the help of dynamic calculation and simulation software. The following studies can add value during the design process: solar study, cold bridge condensation calculation, daylight simulation, thermal comfort analysis, life cycle cost analysis, CFD simulation.
With this strategy, VK Architects & Engineers puts more energy into the design so that it uses less energy once it is complete.
VK is an accredited professional for BREEAM and a member of the Brussels Institute of Environmental Management, the Flemish Energy Agency, the Walloon Department of Energy, the Passive House Platform, the Scientific and Technical Centre for the Building Industry, the US Green Building Council and the International Building Performance Simulation Association.