Infinity is the new, highly sustainable office building of Belgian engineering consultancy and energy specialist Encon. The grand opening of the building took place in April, during one of the many climate marches in Brussels. The speech by the manager's daughter was therefore very relevant: ‘Infinity is in many ways a building of the next generation. It is a new way of building, and building in this way will make a future possible for my generation, and the next.’
A different way of thinking, living and working
The building is still unique in its kind, but Encon is proving that the energy transition is feasible. This building is more than the sum of several new technologies for building, heating, cooling and generating electricity. This is a new, different way of thinking, living and working, according to Energy Minister Lydia Peeters. The building is not only Encon's new headquarters but, above first and foremost, a showcase of sustainable solutions.
BREEAM and LEED
Infinity is one of the most sustainable office buildings in Europe, thanks to the achieved energy savings, on-site production of renewable energy and the unique combination of BREEAM (Outstanding) and LEED (Gold) certifications. To give an example, cooling and heating are provided by a borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) system, which uses a ground source heat pump and a borehole field. This saves 90% of the electricity that would otherwise be needed for cooling and 40% of what would normally be used for heating.
But Infinity also generates energy: the wind turbine and the three solar trackers produce a combined 4,622 MWh of electricity per year, which is more than the building itself needs.
Pleasant working environment
In addition to the latest technologies, the building is also designed to be pleasant to work in. The lighting, for example, follows people's biorhythms, every office has an unobstructed view of outdoor greenery and the offices are acoustically optimised to minimise noise so employees can concentrate on their work. Encon also offers fitness classes for all employees in a well-equipped gym. Infinity's baking and ironing services are unique. All of this is provided with the aim of giving employees more free time outside working hours, which reflects the company's promotion of a healthy work-life balance.
We are naturally proud that this sustainable building is equipped with a Priva installation. The intelligent building management system links various installations together. These include climate ceilings, underfloor heating and cooling, ventilation and air quality. With this approach, the indoor climate is optimised for maximum energy efficiency. As a result, sustainability goes hand in hand with maximum comfort for Encon employees.
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