Today, Ludwine Van Craenenbroeck introduces Belgian real estate company Triginta, and discusses their vision on sustainable real estate and the future of reconversions.
Triginta is a Belgian real estate company with a young and dynamic team. They aim to develop and finance distinctive and socially relevant real estate projects in Belgium. The team works with four imperatives in mind : sustainability, social relevance, high quality real estate and flexibility. With this in mind, Triginta focuses specifically on the development of some original real estate niches.
Their projects are structured around three main axes :
- redeveloping and/or repurposing religious buildings
- participate in the development of health infrastructure (also at a tech level)
- finance/invest in public buildings through public-private partnerships.
“ But our main focus is always on adding social relevance to our projects and their surroundings”, explains Triginta IT and Digital Manager Ludwine Van Craenenbroeck. “We also believe that our buildings must be flexible and adaptable. This goes hand in hand with our social and environmental beliefs.”
Can you give us some examples ?
- Eandistip, Mechelen (adaptive parking): The Eandistip parking project is a good example of flexible buildings. We look beyond a given situation: almost all our projects have a multifunctional design that adapts to specific needs or situations. Eandistip, a public car park, can be easily transformed into offices. The green and futuristic project is a pivot of Triginta’s overall plan.
- Sanapolis, Sijsele (preventive health care reconversion) : “Sanapolis is one of the projects that truly embodies our company’s vision. The Sanapolis care site encompasses our three areas of interest (*repurposing religious buildings, participating in health infrastructure development and investing in public buildings). It concerns an alluring but tired hospital that will be converted into a health campus with a renewed concept. Moreover, it represents our belief in a world of anticipation and prevention.”
“Healthcare in our country – and throughout the Western world – currently has almost the same meaning as taking care of the sick ones. Only a very small percentage concerns sickness prevention. This project focuses on keeping healthy people healthy (and making them even healthier), improving their physical and mental health through testing and advice in exercise, mental balance and food; tackling absenteeism and burnouts and recognizing them faster on the work floor. All our pillars come perfectly together in the beautiful green surroundings of Sijsele.”
“The green site is perfect for offering evidence-based health programs in combination with healthy nutrition, exercise and mental well-being, primarily for companies and their employees.
The campus will be converted and includes a hotel, from where all nutrition, exercise and mental coaching services can be reached. The old farm nearby will be transformed into a care farm with an organic vegetable garden, which will serve catering for the hotel and the campus. This way, employees can focus solely on their mental and physical health.
In conclusion to their health program, employees are monitored with the help of approachable medical technology such as wearables and applications.”
The Sanapolis health centre is also anchored in the news as it is now used as a Covid vaccination centre.
What do you think should be done to meet the challenges of Belgian urban planning ?
“ First, we believe the built environment should allow people to find anchorage; the built environment should be a fixed value, a safe home. Meanwhile, it needs to be flexible enough to easily adapt to the needs of our ever-evolving lifestyle. A building cannot remain a point of anchorage if it doesn’t have this inherent capacity.”
“Today, too often we still see a classic approach to real estate projects. This, in combination with our changing lifestyles, leads to many vacant buildings.”
“Then, Triginta believes that from the outset, we must work hand in hand with all stakeholders, in order to listen to the needs of our and future generations. This can only be done through communication and transparency.”
“We want to meet environmental and social needs through our long-term vision. We believe transparency, flexibility and communication are key to achieving this.”
“Also in this spirit of evolution, we believe in multipurpose buildings, which, being adaptable, logically have a longer lifespan. In addition, we strive to use circular building materials and techniques.”
The impact of Covid-19 ?
“ The Covid-19 pandemic brought many changes to our daily lives, but it also set many things in motion.”
“ For instance, it highlighted this terrible tradition of Assisted Living that isolates seniors. It doesn’t work, and we can only testify to how tragic it was.
But it also led us to take a good look at ourselves, and think about living healthier lives. Sanapolis is an illustration of this turning point, as well as Triginta’s long-standing convictions.”
“So at the end of the day, the pandemic has only strengthened our vision.”
“Moreover, we are all the more looking for new ways of living, of projects that cross generations and reflect on how to live better. The pandemic pushed everyone to go digital. Even older generations are now using digital solutions to communicate, share, and help them in their daily lives. We took technology to a whole new level and saw that it could change our daily lives. Now we must continue to move forward, on the road of innovation and disruptive thinking.”
“In the future, we want technology to be able to anticipate the needs of all those living in our buildings.”
What are your next steps ?
“As a young fund and developer, we are looking forward to seeing our innovative concepts and ideas find their way to the market. A market and a society we will keep listening to. We will further develop our ideas about reconversion, flexibility, wellbeing and use technology to scale up. We also want to take our ideas and projects across Belgian borders.”
Any last words ?
“What we see today in real estate is the same sort of disruption as we saw around the nillies for other sectors. These kinds of changes lead to the creation of new business models and different types of real estate, adapted to this new reality. We look forward to seeing these new disruptive business models emerge and thrive in the future!”