Our entire existing building stock will have to be renovated if we want to become fossil fuel-free. The existing structure of the association of co-owners of an apartment building makes it possible to take such decisions collectively, but that does not mean that enrolling every single owner is easy. In the Brabo I apartment building on Antwerp’s Linkeroever, 150 private owners joined forces with the support of the city on an extensive renovation strategy. A task force including architecture office Gevelinzicht and technical expert Tecon was appointed to assist residents during information evenings, to identify the deficiencies in the building, to propose technical and financial scenarios, and to draw up a balanced multi-year plan. The financial aspect in particular proved to be an obstacle. The renovation of the façade and terraces amounts to 4 million euros, which the owners have to pay out of their own pockets. Eighty-eight percent of the owners voted in favour. Those who did not had to contribute or sell their flat. The result is a total renovation with concrete benefits for users in terms of quality and comfort: the terraces were enlarged, for example, and the entire building has a completely new look.
Gevelinzicht, Tecon, FVWW, Bollinger-Grohmann, VME Brabo I, City of Antwerp