Exploring the first European residential project receiving the ‘outstanding’ BREEAM certificate

The importance of demonstration projects in the process towards more sustainable building is endorsed. It is noticed that performances on sustainability of these projects are rarely proven by leading and widely used multi criteria assessment and rating tools. This research focuses on a project for sustainable grouped housing intended to act as a demonstration project and awarded with the BREEAM ‘outstanding’ certificate.
The main objective of this paper is to explore and position this assessed and rated project between renowned European demonstration and best practice projects. First, implemented design measures are unveiled which led to the ‘outstanding’ pre-design certificate. Second, detected design measures are compared with prevailing sustainability measures in a ‘real-life’ cross case confrontation. Third, a SWOT analysis is made concerning innovative, deviant or exceptional measures within the context of Flanders/Europe.
It is concluded that, pending the completion of the construction phase, the assessed and rated project cannot be designated as ‘demonstration or best practice project’. Intended and/or actual measures are insufficient regarding the full scope of sustainability.

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