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Third edition of Exemplary Buildings

A VUB swimming pool is a previous winner
A VUB swimming pool is a previous winner

The Brussels Region, Brussels Environment and Heritage and the Brussels Bouwmeester have just launched the third edition of the ‘exemplary buildings’ programme (be.exemplary). This gives a financial subsidy to projects which, in overall terms, respond to four criteria: promoting high quality urban architecture, encouraging social cohesion, taking on environmental challenges and encouraging the circular economy. There is also very much an on-going learning aspect to the programme, as it is hope that lessons can be learned and passed on from one building to another, an from one edition to another. The ability for buildings to be transformed to other uses in the future, and to recycle materials, will also be considered an advantage.

The candidate projects fall into two categories: firstly, private developments of up to three residential units, and secondly, all other types of development. The first category is important because it demonstrates that despite the ‘public’ nature of the organisers, it is not a programme open to large or public developments only. All types of construction are eligible, including schools, sports infrastructures, and all bodies – private and public – can apply.

On the practical side, candidates need to apply by June 29th, and the projects (which must not already be in work), will be judged by a jury made up of representatives of the sponsors and outside experts. Candidates have to commit to doing what they say they will do, and within a time-scale of 48 months. They have to provide an annual report on progress made. The financial assistance amounts to € 125 or 200 per square metre, depending on the type of project.

Examples of the 17 selected projects from the previous two editions were given to demonstrate the diverse nature of projects which can be successful. The Co-housing element of Tivoli (the major part of the development is by citydev.brussels) involves 9 residential units with collective decision-making, common areas, and a Foundation which approves the transfer of ownership, making sure that the spirit of the complex is retained. Masui Z, by contrast, saw a former workshop converted to a socio-artistic centre which now houses the organisers of the Zinneke Parade. Here, an inventory of existing materials on the existing site was made, with a view to a maximum of re-use.

More information can be found at info@beexemplary.brussels
Tim Harrup
04-05-2018


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