SPIE moves into ‘The Green’ – a pioneering environmentally friendly building in Aalter.
Brussels, February 10, 2020 - Industry Aalter, one of the Belgian companies owned by SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, 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.”
More than 150 subcontractors and suppliers have worked tirelessly on ‘The Green’ over the past year. “Our goal with this new building is to innovate, grow and modernise. This place must reflect the environmentally friendly and socially responsible ways in which we work for our customers. ‘The Green’ is a pioneering building for the future.”
For this last reason in particular, SPIE is not the only company to operate in the new building. Fifty employees from other companies will also have offices there. “Like other companies in the region, we have many mobile employees. It would be a pity for there to be any empty office space. This way, even more emphasis is placed on the building’s role as a meeting place for contractors, suppliers, subcontractors, and so on,” says Wouter Van Derbeken.
Industry Aalter has doubled its turnover over the past decade. Its number of employees has also soared. SPIE Belgium therefore had to look for new premises. Thanks to ‘The Green’, the company has now built a comfortable workplace for its employees, lying just 500 metres from its old offices.
As the impact of coronavirus on our activities increases and in the face of ever-stricter government measures to halt its spread, SPIE Belgium would like to inform you about the steps it has taken within the organisation.
To this day:
SPIE Belgium has decided not to stop its activities completely, considering that some of these may be essential or even critical to maintaining the activities of companies in critical sectors and essential services that are vital to the smooth running of the country. This is being done, of course, in strict respect of the measures taken by the authorities, and treating the health and safety of our staff, our clients, our suppliers and sub-contractors as a priority.
This unprecedented crisis reminds us of the importance of two of our founding values: responsibility and proximity. By each taking our responsibilities, we will overcome this ordeal.
Drawing strength from our 120 years of experience and from the solidity of the Group to which we belong, we remain confident in the future and in our mutual capacity to adapt and be resilient.