As an incubator, BlueChem focuses specifically on start-ups and young companies active in sustainable chemistry. BlueChem is also extending this pursuit of sustainability to the construction of the incubator. It will be a place where sustainability and chemistry literally come together.

Not only the company operations at BlueChem, but also the facilities, will become models of sustainability. The incubator’s building will be certified as BREEAM Excellent. BREEAM is an internationally recognised label for assessing the integral sustainability of buildings. Attention is paid to the techniques applied, also taking into account a high-quality working environment, safety aspects, the use of sustainable materials, etc. The BlueChem building also complies with the NZEB standard (Nearly Zero-Energy Building).

In the construction of BlueChem, there is a concern for minimum environmental impact and maximum sustainability.

  • The roof will be completely covered with solar panels.
  • The building will be connected to the heating network of the Blue Gate Antwerp industrial park, by which green residual heat is shared.
  • BlueChem will thus purchase not only CO2-neutral electricity, but also CO2-neutral heat.

The BlueChem building is a true feat of technology. Because of the complexity of the construction project, the BIM (Building Information Management) system has been used from the design phase. In this system, engineering firms, contractors, architects and builders all draw together using the same 3D model, which significantly reduces the number of errors on the worksite. This method immediately reveals the secret of the smooth progress of this construction site: BlueChem’s construction is in fact ahead of schedule.

The incubator concept is at the heart of the architecture: the building is built with maximum flexibility.

For example, the partitioning between office and laboratory space can easily be adapted depending on the tenant’s needs. In addition, BlueChem wants to stimulate cooperation by means of different meeting areas throughout the building. The heart of the incubator is the atrium, bathed in daylight from the roof dome. This is the central meeting place where tenants can exchange ideas and share experiences.