Passive building

An important point to make would be that 'low cost' wasn't the main keyword in building and designing The Field Lab, which would have tilted the balance away from responsibility towards nature. The goal was to radically decrease our ecological footprint and in order to obtain that, we set out to define 5 categories in which we would solve problems in such a way as to break with the destructive nonchalance our society has bathed itself in.

1. Waste produced by the building when in service
2. Management of the water consumed and discharged
3. The quantity of energy required for the building and energy generation
4. CO2 data for the construction of the building and the materials used in particular
5. mobility for our activities


Factor number one is to minimise the need for tap water. To achieve this, The Field Lab opted for the installation of a rainwater collection system. This system collects run-off from roofs, and can cover 95% of toilet and vehicle washing water requirements thanks to rainwater. Five 10,000 litre tanks also allow the company to cover its own requirements for a period of drought of 3 weeks, which would be an exceptional meteorological event in Belgium.

Direct infiltration of clean water

Factor number two involves reducing the volume of waste water as far as possible. Clean water is directly infiltrated into the soil via 7 draining wells with a depth of 10m, a filter basin with a capacity of over 300 m3 and the use of sod squares, the ideal semi-permeable coating. The Field Lab has also decided to opt for a 3400 m2 green roof, which acts as a storm buffer by absorbing a significant percentage of rainwater.

Quality of rest water

Finally, factor number three aims to guarantee the quality of the water which the site has been unable to use or infiltrate, and therefore discharges to the sewerage system. Two hydrocarbon separators treat vehicle washing water and run-off water from traffic areas. A grease separator plays the same role for waste water from the catering area.