Encon: IVC signs up for Europe’s most sustainable office building
Engineering firm Encon in Bilzen advises industrial players on improving their energy efficiency. The energy specialist moved into one of Europe’s most sustainable and stylish office buildings in spring 2019. The Limburgers’ efforts were rewarded with both BREEAM and LEED certificates. The Belgian flooring solutions by IVC also contributed to this success.
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Showroom of innovative technologies
Encon's core business is sustainability consultancy. That is why the engineering firm decided to build a new head office that is entirely in line with its vision and activities. Office Manager Jente Royen: “The building, which we called Infinity, was to become a sampling of the latest technologies and materials to strive for energy efficiency. Moreover, its design had to be such that it would be a great place to work. In other words, we wanted to build the office building for the future in Bilzen.”
The fact that the energy specialist achieved this with flying colours can be seen in the building's scores for BREEAM and LEED, two leading international sustainability standards. Jente Royen: “We achieved ‘Outstanding’, the highest score for the European quality mark BREEAM. For the American LEED standard, we achieved ‘Gold’, the second-highest category.”
Materials with small ecological footprints
Of course, the fact that Encon generates its own energy through solar trackers, a wind turbine, a BES field, and a heat pump, also contributed to this. Jente Royen: “Besides, the certification also took account of water consumption and waste processing, as well as the origins and production methods of the construction and finishing materials.”
The restaurant, entrance hall, and meeting rooms are covered with IVC’s LVT flooring (700 m2 in total). Stefan Cnapelynck, Project Advisor at IVC: “The architects loved the versatility and creativity of our Studio Moods collection.They decided on a combination of wood and stone designs in the Moods Hexagon pattern: Moduleo 55 Country Oak and Blackjack Oak on the one hand, and Moduleo 55 Tiles Jura Stone and Azurite on the other. The hexagonal patterns ensure a daring yet refined touch. As they have no dominant angles or directions, they adapt readily to any room.”
Besides its appearance, the architects had other good reasons to choose IVC’s flooring solution. Filip De Mulder, Sustainability & Quality System Manager at IVC: “At IVC Group, we are setting the bar ever higher in terms of sustainability.In the context of future-oriented product development, we take the time to consider the impact of our strategy and business operations.”
Stefan Cnapelynck: “All our vinyl floors have undergone life cycle assessments, so their environmental impacts are known. They consist of up to 50% recycled PVC and are mostly, if not wholly, recyclable. Another significant benefit is that they are designed and produced in Belgium.”
IVC and Encon: a shared sustainability vision
However, the scope of sustainability certificates such as BREEAM or LEED is so much broader than just environmental friendliness. Encon received such admiration because the office building also takes account of its employees’ well-being. For example, the lighting adapts to the human biorhythm, and there are views of the green surroundings from all rooms. In terms of acoustics, nothing was left to chance either.
Jente Royen: “IVC's floors contributed to the excellent results that we achieved for BREEAM and LEED. Not only ecologically, but also in terms of ease of use and acoustic qualities. In short, IVC and its flooring solutions fit in perfectly with our vision of the sustainable office of the future.