Developer uses approach as part of brownfield clean-up.

BREEAM Communities helps deliver sustainable redevelopment in Belgium

Belgian developer SDM (Sustainable Development Mechelen NV) is applying BREEAM Communities for the redevelopment of a brownfield site.

The previously heavily polluted brownfield Ragheno Park site, in Mechelen, northern Belgium, is part of wider 10-year mixed-use development programme for the city. It is a few hundred metres from the newly renovated city railway station and will be the focus for the development of a new office neighbourhood, integrating the historical industrial site and the future surrounding residential area.

BREEAM Communities is designed to provide a framework for sustainability, through which the economic, environmental and social sustainability of large scale developments can be improved, measured and certified. It will be applied in Mechelen using the BREEAM Communities International Bespoke process, which enables the assessment criteria to be adapted to reflect local context.
SDM is adopting the framework, with the intention of supporting the integration of the development, minimising any adverse impact on existing communities, infrastructure and local services and supporting the delivery of the high sustainability aspirations for the site.
The BREEAM Communities assessment will be carried out by Ghent-based property consultant and BREEAM assessor Bopro, a partner in SDM with occupier and owner the Beherman Group.
‘Our target for the site is to achieve sustainable integration of corporate and social goals,’ says Olivier Beherman of the Beherman Group. ‘Creating aesthetically pleasing and marketable office space is only a part of the objective,’ he adds. ‘Meeting high sustainability standards and starting the stakeholder dialogue early in the process will ensure a successful development of this future mixed-use zone and BREEAM Communities is a vital part of this, helping to integrate all sustainable, financial and social-economic targets from the outset, with a strong focus on stakeholder involvement.’
New buildings on the site will reflect the character of the former automobile industry and will reshape this newly remediated industrial brownfield site into a healthy, open and liveable landscape. The park contains the new Red Cross Flanders building which has already achieved a BREEAM Outstanding building rating at the design stage. The developer’s ambition to make a future-proof development through the construction of an innovative sustainable office area ‘will be further supported through BREEAM certification at the building level.

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