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Saints Pierre & Paul, new construction of 36 passive apartments in an urban setting

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Nestled in the heart of a residential neighbourhood in the north of Brussels, the project closes off a fairly diverse square with a parking lot at its centre, and faces a large church and an uninteresting housing structure.


The buildings are set back far enough to avoid creating an out-of-place profile and maintain continuity with the existing buildings on Rue Saints Pierre et Paul, while also taking advantage of the south-facing slope of the terrain.


The lot was originally wooded and therefore provided the square with a green space. The building is divided to maintain a “green corridor” between the back and front and between the planted and built sections.


The building completely matches the contracting authority’s programme: housing which includes a large mix of households (from studios to four-bedroom apartments) with a communal garden area. It promotes sharing and mutual assistance and combats exclusion. The project was designed to be a true “urban village”.


Sustainable development


The DHW supply is implemented via a loop connected to the communal boiler. An auxiliary loop passes through the CMV from the DHW loop and supplements the heating in winter. Each apartment has a double-flow CMV unit with a bypass system to allow natural ventilation in the event of overheating.


In order to meet the passive criteria, the insulation is external, which reduces thermal bridging as much as possible. Intermediate blower door tests were carried out during the project to test air-tightness.


A final blower door test was carried out by “column” of apartments to ensure that the leakage rate meets the “passive house” criteria. The exterior joinery is constructed from superior-quality wood with high thermal performance (insulation installed in the profiles) and air-tightness.


Exposed windows are protected from the sun with either overhangs, balconies or mounted sunshades, depending on the situation.


A PHPP calculation was updated in accordance with the decisions made at the worksite in order to meet the passive label criteria for new housing in the Brussels region (annual heating consumption <15 kW/m2; air infiltration rate <0.6 vol/h; building overheating managed and not exceeding 5% of the time; annual primary energy consumption of 45 kWh/m2).


Energy efficiency achieved: passive certification


  • Net heating needs: 91,405 MJ/year and
  • Net cooling needs: 0 MJ/year
  • Primary energy consumption (heating, cooling, DHW and electrical): 398,195 MJ/year.


Architecture: A.D.E. Architects

Type of project: Design-build public contract: complete architecture assignment

Contracting party: Régie Foncière de la Ville de Bruxelles

Location: Rue Saints Pierre et Paul 7, 1120 Brussels

Completion dateDelivered end of 2017. (Planning permission granted in 2015)

Structural engineer: Ney & Partners

BSE and building performance engineer: Arcadis Belgium

Safety and health coordination: B.C.H.D. Consult

Acoustical: Avea Consulting (conception) and CSD Ingénieurs (suivi des travaux)

General contractor: Jacques Delens

Inspection services: Vinçotte

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