The existing chemical laboratories account for about 16% of energy consumption on the Etterbeek campus. After renovation, this will be significantly reduced so that CO2 emissions for the entire campus will decrease. Last year, VUB committed to a CO2 reduction of 674 tonnes per year by using solar cells that convert light into electricity, heat pumps and reusing hot air. The works will start in April 2021 at the earliest.
“VUB is reducing its CO2 emissions through rational use of energy. Not only through sustainable mobility, purchasing and other environmental measures, but also in the field of renovation and new construction,” explains infrastructure director Iwein Baeyens. “The sense of urgency of sustainable development is clearly present in the social debate. VUB wants to be the catalyst for solutions that are democratically, ecologically, socially and economically responsible.”
Education and research
The new laboratories will enable scientists and students to set-up and monitor chemical reactions in a more efficient way. This will benefit not only students in chemistry, engineering and bio-engineering, but also researchers who work in these laboratories each day. The latter are very focused on research in medicinal chemistry, which seeks innovative and alternative medicines – a search that is linked to sustainability. By making improved and long-acting molecules available through more efficient production procedures, the carbon cost is greatly reduced.
*The ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) is a European regional policy tool that aims to create new opportunities for European citizens and to reduce the living standards gap between regions. Between 2007 and 2013, the ERDF programme, through the intervention of the Region and Europe, thus invested 108 million euros in 32 projects in the Brussels Capital Region. These projects concern child care, re-employment measures, training programmes, but also sustainable development, support for economic activities, and reinforcing the infrastructure and the social cohesion in the canal area. The current programme (2014-2020) contains 46 projects pertaining to access to employment, research, circular economy, innovation and improving the living environment. Europe and the Region are investing €200 million in this new programme.
Miguel Van Steenbrugge
0494 758 674