HQ Infrax West

Offices, Interior

Newly built office and warehouse with environmental construction
HQ Infrax West
  • Client(s)
    Infrax West (Fluvius)
  • Construction site
    Torhout
  • Architectenteam
    Dirk Engelen, Jan Geerts, Evi van Schooneveld
  • Interieurteam
    Wim Heyninck
  • Main contractor
    Algemene aannemingen Van Laere nv
  • Competition
    2005
  • Year
    2006-2009
  • Status
    Realised
  • Photography
    BINST ARCHITECTS, Coolens & Deleuil, Koen Van Damme

As a utilities service provider (electricity, natural gas, cable television and sewage system), Infrax (now Fluvius) serves as an important role model for sustainable and energy-efficient construction. The high level of ambition was translated into a conceptual competition design that is totally consistent with Infrax’s corporate identity. The characteristic ecological and sustainable values were translated into a project that is a metaphor of a forest: a multitude of slender concrete trunks topped with a broad green ‘crown’.

The central pillar of the design is the creation of an innovative ‘green’ façade, literally and figuratively, in which many technical functions are integrated. The façade regulates the building’s light, air and sound with its structure that comprises various ‘layers’. The outer layer consists of screen printed glass panels in three colours and three degrees of transparency. The patchwork of all these elements and the sophisticated façade construction afford the building a highly expressive and dynamic character.

The closed aspect of the upper structure contrasts with the transparency and openness of the ground floor, where the semi-public functions and the lunch room are based. The large glass surfaces offer visitors and passers-by a glimpse behind the scenes of what is happening in and around Infrax.

Various eco-innovative techniques are applied in the office building, such as a technical façade with integrated photovoltaic panels, a borehole thermal energy storage system (BTES system) and concrete core activation (CCA). The application of these techniques results in a primary energy saving of 42% and a significant improvement in terms of comfort. The calculated value of the building’s E-level is E60, and the K-value is K44.

Because of the advanced eco-innovative techniques used and its importance for local and regional economic development, the project receives a grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The low energy concept of the new Infrax office was also made possible by co-financing from the Flemish Energy Agency and the Department of Environment, Nature and Energy (LNE) of the Flemish government.

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