From Brownfield to attractive living for cohousing group BioTope

Cohousing group BioTope translates its own building adventure into informative sheets on circular construction

Cohousing group BioTope consists of 19 families. Together with three other parties they are building the Bijgaardehof, a large collective housing project on a brownfield site in the Bijgaardepark in Ghent. The derelict Malmar factory is being converted into 59 residential units and a neighborhood health center.

Based on their vision of sustainability, it was an obvious choice for BioTope from the outset to build according to the principles of the circular economy. In order to realize this, they are intensely involved in the design and construction process as the client. As a result, they have built up a wealth of experience. And they want to share it!

Specifically, BioTope wants to produce detailed information sheets with learning lessons around three main themes:
1. how to deal with brownfield as a site for a circular building project,
2. a smart building with optimization of material use throughout the life cycle,
3. demonstration of innovative circular building techniques.

Each sheet will contain and document at least the following info:
- added value: the main reasons for choosing the circular application in question,
- barriers to implementation: process barriers, technical requirements, required skills, cost,
- a transparent long-term cost estimate for construction projects of BioTope's scale,
- technical conditions for implementation,
- the stage of construction in which the element should be included.

BioTope is addressing other building owners, the construction industry and governments with the sheets. In the first place its learning lessons will be applicable in similar cohousing projects, but they are often also relevant for other (collective) residential buildings and sometimes even for owners of individual houses. With its sheets, the cohousing group hopes to inspire, inform and offer concrete tools to as many people as possible to implement circular ideas in their building projects.

The MilieuAdviesWinkel (service point of Gents Milieufront) takes care of the project coordination.


Partners Bogdan & Van Broeck architects, MilieuAdviesWinkel (servicepunt van Gents Milieufront)