The redevelopment of the old ‘historic’ part of Brucargo is well on its way. The project involves the reuse, both onsite and elsewhere, of a large part of the structure and debris of the derelict warehouses.
“Within the strategy of Brussels Airport, sustainability is a priority, and this also applies for all construction projects. During construction activities, the focus is always on energy
efficiency and sustainable techniques and materials, and where possible, the principles of the circular economy are applied,” Brussels Airport Company (BAC) says in a statement.
Work on the demolition of 8 outdated buildings on Brucargo Central – occupied by freight forwarders, mainly – started in June. (CFG reported: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2022/06/05/exclusive-brussels-airport-takes-outdated-cargo-zone-into-the-21st-century/ ) They will be replaced by 3 modular facilities to accommodate companies wishing to contribute to the airport’s further development as a cargo gateway.
Formerly used by Nippon Express
The steel structure of one of these, measuring 2,850 m², will be reused in its entirety. It has been carefully dismantled and will be given a second life at another location away from the airport, as a warehouse for construction company, Democo.
The building had been vacant for several years, says BAC’s Media Relations Manager, Ihsane Chioua Lekhli. “It was used by Nippon Express from 1984 until 2014 and, for a while, by Freight 4U Logistics.”
The acoustic ceiling panels are carefully being removed from another building, the present number 725, to be reused by ‘Akoestiekfabriek’ in Brussels. This is a company employing people who have difficulty in finding work. They reuse these panels for the same purpose in schools, offices, hospitality, etc. The aerated concrete will also be recovered, purified onsite, and then transported away for reuse.
Reused concrete for new Brucargo Central project
At Brucargo itself, concrete from the outdated buildings will be reused for floors and outdoor paving. The material will be crushed onsite, and will later be used for foundations. Tons of concrete will be recycled in this way during the construction works at Brucargo Central.
Sufficient candidates have approached BAC for the new facilities, the construction of which will start in 2023, and is planned to be completed by the middle of 2025. “We are at different stages of negotiations with selected applicants, working towards the finalization of the contracts,” says Ms. Chioua Lekhli. “At this stage, we cannot comment on this yet.”
ACB endorses the strategy
The strategy is profoundly endorsed by Air Cargo Belgium (ACB), confirms Chairman David Bellon. “As cargo community we are happy about the old buildings making way for new ones, which have a better ecological performance through better insulation and the use of solar panels.”
The official goes on to say: “If, at the same time, materials can be reused, all of this fits perfectly into the comprehensive strategy of Brussels Airports towards sustainability. This is also reflected in the airport’s participation in the EU-funded Stargate program.”
From January through to November 2022, Brussels’ cargo volume (flown and trucked) was down by 8.1% to 711,032 tons compared to 773,300 tons of the same period in 2021, which was still an exceptional year because of the on-going Covid-19 vaccine traffic. Compared to 2019 (604,108 tons), the last ‘normal’ year, the volume was up by 17.7%.
Asia remains the largest import and export region, although volumes are slightly lower than last year due to the temporary effects of Chinese lockdowns. Africa is the second largest region in terms of imports, followed by North America. On the export side, North America ranks second, ahead of Africa.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels
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