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Together with evr architects, we are building a high lab tower on the Ardoyen campus in Zwijnaarde.
  • Architect: evr-architecten

  • Client: Universiteit Gent

  • Surface: 18.000 m²

  • Budget: € 30.000.000

  • Timing: 2010 - 2015

  • Status: Executed

  • Photographer: Sarah Blee

  • Advisors: Arcadis Belgium (stabiliteit, technieken)

The urban design, developed since 1999, gives the site a qualitative combination between campus / science park and office area with significant compression capabilities within a high-quality green and natural structure.

The 'efficient use of space' approach resulted in a densely stacked volume consisting of a base that houses some public functions and a data centre behind it with an office and lab tower of 13 storeys. The plot´s small footprint still permits ample expansion possibilities.

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The tower is conceived as an accumulation of column-free and flexible offices and research platforms, around a central core. The ground floor and the first floor on the side of the square are used for transparent public functions, such as a library, a small auditorium, some large classrooms and a reception with sitting areas.

The height emphasis comes from reading the context: its location on the urban fringe and along the main roads N60 and E40, the visibility of the campus and the creation of a landmark for the local and (inter)national public. The visual realisations of the multifaceted context are created in a varied way by the different façades and heights. The project strives for an appearance of accuracy, appropriateness and sustainability.
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Beyond passive

The project is sustainable in the broadest sense of the word: in the core and in many aspects. The biggest environmental challenge is the energy-efficient cooling for the data centre. The residual heat of the 1,000 m² data centre is used as a heat source for heating the remaining 17,000 m² of the building. Clean energy is provided through the south-facing PV-façade.


The various façade treatments also take into account the differing climatic conditions, optimal use of daylight, flexibility of the spaces behind the building, economics and easy maintenance.

In addition to sustainable techniques, the façade was also given a sustainable structure. The closed façade sections consist of HSB panels that are mounted before the concrete shell, a very efficient construction method with low environmental costs. At the time of execution, these panels were regularly used in Belgium in small-scale projects, but their use in high-rise buildings was new.

Biggest challenges for the façade:

- increased wind and rain load
- search for suitable fire engineering solutions.

A washing plant on the roof provides for the maintenance of the facades.
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For this project, we worked with external parties in Revit for the first time. During the close cooperation with Arcadis, a fully integrated BIM model was developed. After strict agreements on the structure of the model, we set up the architectural model. The stability and techniques sub-models were modelled by Arcadis.

As many techniques remain visible in the project and form an essential part of the architecture, the integrated BIM model is the tool of choice to check and optimise, together with the architectural office, the impact of the techniques on the architectural context.

The architectural elements were examined by us and incorporated into the model. The intelligent elements generate the comprehensive and detailed measurement statement.

As the executive architect, we help the designing architects with all the technical and financial issues so that they can fully focus on the design. We also monitor the implementation and ensure that the objectives and plan are always crystal clear for all partners, so that together we can make our dreams come true.

Meet our project team

From Team Façade engineering (1)

Raf 569 A3809 Gemiddeld

arch. Raf De Preter

Expert bouwdetails
Adviseur gevel
E-mail |

From Team Computer Aided Design & BIM (1)


prof. ir. arch. Paulus Present

BIM manager
Technisch ontwerper
E-mail |
TAGS: BIM| Executive architect| Façade