A LOW-COST SUSTAINABLE BUILDING
AFFORDABLE CLEAN ENERGY MEASURES
‘Infinity’ – the idea for which was developed by Belgian SME Encon – is a building that combines unique sustainability goals with a limited budget. Infinity is more than just a building. Infinity provides a blueprint for businesses around the globe that seek to reduce their environmental impact and want to make their operations more sustainable. It challenges them to overcome the idea that saving energy requires high levels of investment or a drop in comfort, or that they lack the necessary technological knowledge. Infinity showcases how we can transition to clean energy with proven technologies.
Efficiency combined with sustainable energy
The concept of Infinity is developed around four pillars that reinforce one another: energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability and a new way of working. Smart lighting is a vivid illustration of this concept. The unique smart lighting system installed in the building not only adapts to the presence of people and daylight but it also changes colour temperature over time in accordance with the human biorhythm.
Infinity produces its own sustainable energy with solar panels and its own wind turbine. Through an ingenious combination of geothermal energy, the heating and cooling system has reduced its energy consumption by 70%. Encon also chooses its suppliers and materials carefully, making sure that everything is produced locally where possible.
A great working environment
The focus is very much on employee comfort. With car wash and grocery delivery services, among other things, readily arranged from the building, Infinity contributes to employees’ work-life balance, helping the company attract talented people.
Infinity might well be the only building of its kind in the world to obtain both a European standardisation on sustainability, BREEAM (rated ‘Excellent’) and the American standardisation LEED (rated ‘Gold’).
Living lab and education platform
With all these techniques combined, Encon is now looking to transfer its knowledge to other organisations.
The building’s upper floor will house an education centre delivering courses on sustainability, and the short-term goal is to inspire half of Belgium’s energy-intensive industries to take up the concept. In the longer term, the management team of Infinity plans to broaden this approach to companies all over Europe.