the Industry division of SPIE Belgium, a subsidiary of SPIE, has moved into a nearly zero-energy building (NZEB) called ‘The Green’.
The Green’ was built under a joint project between SPIE Belgium and the Belgian company Vandenbussche, and is ideally located on the Groendreef – one of Aalter’s major thoroughfares. One of the building’s most exceptional features is the geothermal storage system situated beneath it, which consists of 42 boreholes, each 145 metres deep. The system extracts energy from the subsoil by way of a closed circuit of underground pipes, and is thus able to heat the building during the winter and cool it during the summer. More than 1,000 solar panels have also been installed, together with a green roof, which collects some of the rainwater that falls on the building and then uses it to water the plants on the roof.
SPIE has spared no effort in minimising its ecological footprint. “Sometimes it was a question of very small details,” explains Wouter Van Derbeken, SPIE Belgium’s Director of Operational Support. “For instance, the light detectors in place ensure that no office lighting is left on unnecessarily when no one is present. Special taps filter the running water to provide cold, sparkling or even boiling drinking water. This means that we no longer have to transport in and use plastic bottles. For the furniture, we chose a supplier that offered an environmentally friendly gluing process. What’s more, for the move itself, we used environmentally friendly removal lorries running on compressed natural gas.”