On December 13th, the Innovative Building Awards were held for the first time. This competition, organized by PropTech Lab, put in competition the projects of about fifteen Belgian real estate developers. 4 prizes were awarded on the basis of 4 innovation criterias: the social impact of the building, the sustainability of the building, the technological innovation of the building and the innovation of its business model.
An unprecedented acceleration in the adoption of innovation
These awards are happening in a context of increasing innovation maturity in the sector. Indeed, according to the study of our member companies, we note that 80% of corporations now dedicate 1% of their budget to innovation. This figure was only 30% last year. This acceleration can be explained by several factors. First of all, the new European regulation has introduced precise ESG objectives. For instance, the industry must urgently decarbonize to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Secondly, the sector is facing new challenges such as the energy crisis, climate change, rising prices of construction materials, the increasing complexity of real estate projects, etc. Innovation now appears to be the main way to solve these major problems.
ESGs and PropTech are not a nice-to-have anymore, it’s becoming a must-have. It was therefore important for us to promote and reward projects that embody this change.
The project with the biggest social impact
Scholen Van Morgen of AG Real Estate won the award for the building with the biggest social impact. This project has resulted in the construction of 182 schools benefiting more than 133,000 children. This 710,000m² project has revived several neighborhoods. Its infrastructure is environmentally friendly, energy efficient and provides a stimulating learning environment, including 8 passive schools. AG Real Estate collaborates with many startups to implement educational technologies. More information HERE.
The most sustainable project
The award for the most sustainable project went to Minerve by Revive. Minerve is a 60,000m² residential community built on a decontaminated industrial site. Among the elements that made it stand out: the reuse of many materials, its temporary use plan during construction, the use of waste heat from a nearby factory – which reduced the cost of heating by 56% (compared to a heat pump, and 130% compared to gas), rainwater from the roofs of nearby factories,… More information HERE.
The most tech innovative project
For the most technologically innovative project, Befimmo’s ZIN won. It is the transformation project of towers 1 and 2 of the WTC complex in Brussels. This 114,000m² project, which is currently under construction, will include housing, working and living spaces. What makes it special is its use of BIM including a very large number of stakeholders, the use of material passports and the use of prefabrication and off-site construction. More information HERE.
The project with the most innovative business model
The award for the project with the most innovative business model went to Key West by BPI and Immobel. This 50,000m² project in the pre-permit phase will have multiple functions: housing, offices, retail, industry and logistics, hotels, urban farm, etc.But what impressed us is how they created a business model where they increase the intensity of usage of square meters: place is active during the day and night and is therefore never deserted. More information HERE.