Befimmo welcomes the flemish government as a new tenant in ZIN

5 February 2024
Flemish government chooses sustainability and innovation in the heart of Brussels

Befimmo, a leading player in the property sector, welcomes the Flemish Government as a new tenant at ZIN, a prime example of circular architecture and innovation in Brussels. This is an important step in the completion of ZIN and in the transformation of BX North, previously called the Brussels North neighbourhood. 

The partnership runs for a fixed term of 18 years and is the final part of the Flemish government's property strategy to concentrate the administration in BX North in three buildings. The Flemish Government will occupy approximately 75,000 square metres of the ZIN, a space that can accommodate around 4,800 employees. The Flemish Government employees have chosen the 'Marie-Elisabeth Belpaire Building' as the name for their office, after the Flemish female writer who campaigned for proper education for girls in Flanders.

A multifunctional and inspiring living environment

The arrival of the Flemish government at ZIN marks the start of the final phase of this impressive project. In the future, this multifunctional complex will also include flats, offices, a hotel from 'The Standard' group and several shops. Living, working and community life will be brought together in one building. This development contributes to the transformation of BX North and is part of the Up4North initiative, of which Befimmo is a co-founder. The aim of this project? To revitalise the neighbourhood around Brussels North Station.

ZIN is an example of how Befimmo is committed to creating sustainable and dynamic urban environments. With a greenhouse open to the public and a stunning roof terrace, ZIN will be not only a place to work, live, and spend time but also a real social meeting place. 

Strategic choice for ZIN

ZIN, an example of circular architecture in Brussels, was created by converting two towers of the former WTC complex. Inspired by the strict requirements of the Flemish government, Befimmo has encouraged all building contractors to obtain Cradle to Cradle Certified® certification. This certificate guarantees that all building materials are recycled and recyclable, that they are safe and healthy, and that they have been produced using renewable energy, sustainable water management, and under socially fair working conditions.

In this way, Befimmo offers an innovative working environment that fully complies with the Flemish government's sustainability objectives. Examples of this include a cold storage system that extracts heat and cold from the ground, solar panels on the roof, greenhouse and outer walls, and the reuse of rain and drainage water. For heating and cooling, the entire building is also equipped with a communal 'power station' that enables energy to be exchanged between the various users of the building. They can use it when the Flemish government has a surplus and vice versa.


A green building

An innovative green concept was developed to contribute to the greening of the neighbourhood. Four different green zones, both inside and outside the building, stimulate local biodiversity and reduce the heat island effect in the city. This is with more than 10,000 plants, trees and shrubs spread over the different floors, the communal areas, the façades, the roof terrace and the public conservatory. In this way, Befimmo shows that buildings can also contribute to more sustainable cities and improve urban well-being.

Development milestones for 2024-2025

In the summer of 2024, Befimmo will complete the construction of the flats, the shops, the public greenhouse and the ZEN office complex. Completing the first phase of 'The Standard' hotel is planned for autumn 2024. The official opening of this hotel is planned for early 2025. 

Finally, Befimmo would like to thank Het Facilitair Bedrijf van de Vlaamse overheid, the general contractor Open Minds (CFE, VMA, Van Laere and BPC Group), the architects of Jaspers-Eyers, 51N4E and l'AUC, and all other suppliers who have contributed to the realisation of ZIN with their craftsmanship and passion for innovation. Together, they have created a perfect example of the integration of modern technology and design into the urban landscape.