#Icare! Cordeel Group is building 'a passionate CO2-free future'.
The construction sector is responsible for as much as 40% of greenhouse gas emissions such as CO2, 50% of energy consumption, 1/3 of water consumption and 50% of material flows. Hallucinatory figures in which we as a construction group also bear a great responsibility. We have therefore made it our mission to actively contribute to a more sustainable future. Not only by offering sustainable and circular building solutions and energy applications to customers, we start with ourselves by making our own company site in Temse more sustainable and by electrifying our building sites.
Our ambition: an emission-free construction site
To reduce our CO2 emissions during the construction phase, we deploy electric equipment: for example, electric aerial work platforms and wheel loaders are available at our company C-rental. The use of our yard batteries allows us to replace conventional power generators, thereby greatly reducing CO2 emissions.
In 2019, we built our - even if we say so ourselves - impressive headquarters that is a type example of an energy-efficient and future-proof Smart Building. Its construction rests on three pillars. First, we wanted to understand the building and the behaviour of its users. This allows us to find the optimal balance between the production, consumption and storage of energy. Finally, we aim to offer solutions for tomorrow's mobility.
To achieve all this, the entire building was equipped with numerous sensors that measure just about everything: energy and water consumption, office occupancy, and so on. In addition, the basic heating and cooling system consists of heat pumps linked to a BEO (Borehole Energy Storage) field. The innovation lies in the way these installations are harmonised with a multitude of other technologies. Central to this is 'ImSight', a BOS ('Building Operating System') developed by Cordeel and Imtech. This system allows us to bring together data from all underlying installations in order to optimise their control. One of the main functionalities of this system is that it can bridge the gap between the technical installations and the energy management system. After all, this is a crucial link in producing, storing and consuming energy as efficiently as possible. This energy management is not done for one building but at the level of the entire site.
However, the solutions to reduce our environmental impact are not limited to our headquarters, but can be found throughout our entire production site in Temse. This acts as a live test site for numerous research and development projects such as the elaboration of an advanced community energy system. This demonstrates what Cordeel Group and subsidiary C-energy will soon be able to offer their customers through Energy as a Service, a reliable on-site energy system powered by a community of renewable energy sources. A community energy system links a site's energy generation and consumption into a smart local community of solar panels, batteries, smart meters and more. By designing a community-level energy system, operators can manage the greater uncertainty of on-site renewable energy sources without supply disruption or damage to cables.
Sustainable energy production and storage
On our site, besides the rather obvious things like solar panels on the roofs of our various production departments, you will find numerous innovative solutions enabling us to produce and store green energy. A good example is our unique and patented energy hill, which is currently under construction and will be operational by 2024. This is a hill with a pond on top that is connected to a large water reservoir at the bottom of the hill. When there is a surplus of energy, we will pump water from the bottom to the top. At times when there is a shortage of energy, we can let that same water flow down again, generating energy on the principle of a hydroelectric plant.
Another important aspect we are fully committed to is sustainable mobility. Smart Charging is increasingly becoming the norm and thanks to the expertise of Powerstation, the company within Cordeel Group that specialises in sustainable mobility management, all electric cars on our site are powered according to this principle. But we go a step further: Powerstation develops charging stations made of recycled and recyclable materials such as hemp, an extremely environmentally friendly biocomposite supplied by sister company C-biotech. Moreover, since 2022, Cordeel Group has a car policy that provides for a 100% electric fleet. Besides electric cars, we are also investigating the applications of hydrogen. For instance, we currently already have several hydrogen cars and have our own hydrogen station on our site. Moreover, an electrolyser will be installed this year, which will produce hydrogen from the surplus energy generated.
The aim is for 70% of Cordeel's energy consumption in Temse to come from on-site renewable energy sources, which will also protect the site from external energy market price shocks.
The ultimate goal? To prepare Cordeel Group and its customers for a CO2-free future.