Ghent issues permit for zero-energy residential project

The Belgian city of Ghent has approved the permit for a sustainable residential district project by developers Alides and CORES Investment.

Located between Gent-Sint-Pieters Station and the Blaarmeersen, Rinkaai boasts six buildings with 308 nearly zero-energy apartments, shops, community spaces, and a public park.

Construction kicks off after summer 2024, with residents moving in by late 2027.

Partnering with Ghent city development company sogent, Rinkkaai prioritizes budget-friendly apartments, catering to diverse family structures with classic apartments, duplexes, and wheelchair-accessible units.

Nearly 1,000 bike parking spaces encourage cycling, while electric charging stations cater to e-bikes and other electric vehicles.

Rikkert Leeman, CEO Alides, said: ‘The permit approval is a milestone in the development of Rinkkaai. After seven years of hard work, we are extremely pleased that we can realise this unique project. Rinkkaai stands for sustainable and accessible housing for all generations. It will become a reference architecture, with specific attention to affordable housing and will therefore contribute to solving the housing shortage in Ghent.’

Jurgen Van Bogaert, managing partner CORES Development, commented: ‘Rinkkaai will become the greenest neighbourhood in the Ghent station area and is an example of sustainable city development.’

Sami Souguir, chair of sogent, added: ‘Now that the Rinkkaai project can get started, we are picking up the thread of preparing the cyclist bridge over the Lys, between Koningin Fabiolalaan and the Blaarmeersen. The aim is that the bridge can be commissioned at the same time as the Rinkkaai buildings.’

The entire district will run on renewable energy from its heat grid powered by geothermal heat pumps and a Borehole Thermal Energy Storage (BTES) system.

The apartments will be well insulated and will have solar panels, among others, for the remaining energy consumption. Rainwater and wastewater will be reused, reducing waste and promoting groundwater infiltration.

The southern edge of the site will be a continuous, elevated biodiverse park with flower meadows and grassy areas connecting to the planned Rijsenbergpark on Koningin Fabiolalaan.

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