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Aeropolis II


Groep Arco - KWB - KAV – KAJ


Aeropolis II © Architectes Associés

Aeropolis II is an office building in Schaerbeek (Brussels) that has been completed in 2010 and designed by the Belgian architectural office Architectes Associés. The building contains 6 floors and has a floor area of 7388 m² above ground level.

The facade consists of prefabricated facade modules. There are three types of facade modules: two glazed modules with different widths of the glazing area and an opaque module. Each module is 90 cm wide and 3,46 m high. The space is divided into areas that line up with facade elements (Delfosse, 2019). 

The modules arrived on the site ready to be connected to the building’s structure. The modules are connected to the building’s concrete skeleton structure by metal connection elements. The connection between the façade panel and the concrete structure is placed under the floor finishing. Thus, the flooring (parquet) needs to be removed in order to be able to demount the façade panels.


The façade consists of 3 façade module types. © Architectes Associés, edited by Charlotte Cambier


The modules are connected to the building’s concrete skeleton structure by metal connection elements. © Architectes Associés

The modules consist of a wooden frame filled with insulation. This frame is enclosed by fibre cement boards at the external side. The fibre cement boards are themselves covered with a thin insulating panel. The exterior façade cladding is made of an aluminium sheet and a single layer of glass. Both materials are attached to the wooden frame by metal profiles that have been designed for the façade of Aeropolis II. A first metal profile is fixed to the wooden lateral frame by screws and serves as a support to place the aluminium elements. Then a second specific profile is bound to the first one and is used to carry the glass in front of the aluminium. On the internal side of the module, the vapour barrier is covered with sound insulation and a perforated multiplex panel is used as interior finishing. The perforations serve to achieve a better acoustical performance in the interior spaces (Grandry, 2017).


Exploded view of the different layers in a façade modules of Aeropolis II. © Charlotte Cambier

Due to the sensitivity of wood to hydrothermal conditions, (Belgian) Oregon pine was selected as timber material. EPDM sealing has been used in this project with mortise and tenon joints. However, this tightness achieved by mechanical clamping makes dismantling the modules more difficult (Delfosse, 2019). The windows have triple glazing and blinds. In this way, an office turning into housing can accommodate a glazed and full module instead of a full module to meet the daylight requirements of a dwelling (Delfosse, 2019).

An attempt has been made to use as many dry compounds as possible. Still, in some places sealing and glues are used for the air- and water tightness. 


It seems that the architects considered the accessibility of the connections, based on the connections that connect the modules to the concrete skeleton structure. But the façade panels are connected on multiple layers and at different places, which slows down the assembly and disassembly process.The façade elements are pace-layered to a certain extent. The panels follow in general the order: finish - insulation – structure. But it is not assured, due to the number of connections and insulation layers, that it is possible to disassembly everything in a pace-layered sequence.  


More information on the Aeropolis II project

Architectes Associés. AEROPOLIS II. Construction of an office building and plaza avenue Britsiers in Schaerbeek.

Gids Duurzame Gebouwen Brussel. Case studie: Aeropolis || Aeropolis II: grootste passiefgebouw in de Benelux

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