Docks Bruxsel: Smart energy management based on heat recovery

Docks Bruxsel has just opened its doors to the general public. It took a lot of work to get this 58,000-m² shopping, office and leisure complex up and running. The new complex is an example of smart and environmentally friendly energy management.


ENGIE Axima, among others, was responsible for air conditioning in the offices, the layout of the heating loop, as well as ventilation in technical rooms and extractors in the complex.

The company installed a technical facility on the roof comprising heat exchangers, pumps, water treatment systems and systems managing the three, 2,000-kW cooling towers, which were also fitted by ENGIE Axima, used to cool the heating loop circuit. This circuit recovers the energy of the heat pumps that have been installed by every retailer. In winter the water in the loop is heated by the Bruxelles-√Čnergie incinerator located close to Docks Bruxsel. ENGIE Axima was also in charge of air conditioning in the site’s office buildings and handled the centralised technical management of electricity, sanitation facilities, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and fire detection.

During the construction of Docks Bruxsel, considerable attention was paid to environmental aspects, more specifically by building green walls and recovering the energy generated by the nearby incinerator.

ENGIE Axima used both conventional techniques and more advanced technologies to air-condition the office spaces. Heat pumps were connected to the heating loop to cool and heat the hot and cold manifolds that supply the batteries of the air treatment units (which generate clean air) as well as a series of false ceilings, fan coil units, underfloor heating, radiators and underfloor convectors to air-condition the offices and meeting rooms. We also worked with our partner on air conditioning and treatment in some retail units.

The centralised technical management system was also entrusted to ENGIE Axima. This management system regulates, for example, energy consumption (e.g. electricity, hot water, cold water), the operation of generation facilities (e.g. heating loop, cooling towers, generation of heat and cold), lighting, office air conditioning (using temperature probes, thermostats, and CO2 probes), and the fire system.

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