JV to bring ‘new ways of working’ principles to Belgian Defence HQ

By Mike Hayes20 February 2023

A new €499 million operational headquarters for Belgian Defence – the combined armed forces of Belgium – will be developed in Brussels by the joint venture (JV) group Be Defence.

Impression of New Belgian Defence HQ, showing additional buildings and green areas. Image: Jan De Nul

The JV comprises the construction companies BAM, Jan De Nul, Eiffage and Cegelec, as well as the architectural and engineering firms of Assar Architects, ArtBuild, ANMA and VK Architechts+Engineers.

To be built largely on an old NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) site, the headquarters will cover an area of 92 hectares. It will include workspace for almost 4,000 staff, including office space for intelligence and cyber command divisions.

Be Defence have been tasked with incorporating the principles of the New Way of Working (NWOW) in the headquarters, allowing for greater collaboration between departments.

New landmark in Brussels

Sustainability is also high on the agenda, with the aim of the construction gaining a nearly zero energy building (NZEB) designation. To this end, no fossil fuels will be used for its normal functioning.

The HQ in Brussels will be a Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB). Image: Jan De Nul

According to Jan Je Nul, the commissioned building will utilise renewable energy sources such as soil energy storage, photovoltaic panels and heat pumps.

The use of sustainable materials, reuse of rainwater and the reuse of building materials are also included in the design specifications, as well as the development of significant green areas, with the aim of improving biodiversity.

The chief of Belgian Defence, admiral Hofman, said, “Today, the general staff is spread out over a dozen buildings, tomorrow they will occupy only one. More ecological and safer, to better engage the challenges of the future.”

Joint Venture Be Defence said, “We are particularly proud to have won this leading project. Together with our construction partners, we are already looking forward to realising this new landmark in Brussels.”

Be Defence will develop the project on a design, build and maintain contract, pertaining to the initial investment and two years’ maintenance, renewable for a further eight years.

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