The First in Brussels gets a facelift

The First, a large office building at the heart of Brussels, will be undergoing thorough renovation between October 2020 and December 2022. The premises sit alongside the Frère-Orbansquare, an attractive green space in the prestigious European district, and are in need of a new lease of life according to designated project developer Eaglestone. Teams from Valens, ARFI (for asbestos removal) and Collignon (Eiffage Energy Systems), three subsidiaries of Eiffage in the Benelux, are working seamlessly together on the project that comes with a variety of challenges.

Innovative and sustainable project

Eaglestone’s aim is to reposition the 8,000 m²-large office building as a high quality and innovative building that meets all the requirements associated with the new way of working. Not only will the focus be on the employee anno 2021, the ambitions are particularly high with today’s environmental expectations in mind: the building will satisfy the most advanced environmental requirements with a BREEAM Excellent certificate as one of the prizes. The building will also run on solar power, with installation of photovoltaic panels on roofs and facades. The water supply for the sanitary facilities will be by means of water recovery from a tank. This uses a system of evapotranspiration, for which a pond will be constructed at the rear of the building, with the overflow from the tank supplying clear roof water and purifying the water from the surrounds and road. In the light of the BREEAM approach and the planning permission that limits the number of parking spaces in Brussels, 50 of the 140 parking spaces will remain after completion of the renovation.

A bump in the road

There is indeed one particular challenge: the presence of a tenant during renovation. An industrial company will continue to occupy the building during the work, so the technical facilities must stay live and be protected against any infiltration of water despite the demolition of the roof.

In addition, the raising of two floors as a mixed structure (wood, metal and concrete) and the demolition of the front facade with preservation of the outer supporting structure will require special efforts from the teams. The project is once again a nice example of the synergy at Eiffage. The different teams are each making their own contribution. Here’s to a pleasing result in 2022!

About the project
Project realization: Valens – ARFI – Collignon
Developer: Eaglestone
Architect: Assar Architects
Period of construction: 10/2020 – 12/2022
Amount: 14,5 M€
Picture credits: Assar Architects

The First Brussels

The First Brussels