Sustainability, the top priority

Sustainability is the Zwin Nature Park's top priority.

The new Zwin Nature Centre has purposely made the choice for sustainability. Our ambition is to obtain at least the BREEAM rating ‘very good’.
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is an internationally recognized method to build sustainable buildings.
The buildings are designed to manage materials, water and energy as efficiently as possible.

How do we do this?

  • The wood used for windows, façade cladding and wooden frames comes from sustainably managed forests (FSC or PEFC label)
  • Some buildings have green roofs, which constitute an extra source of biodiversity and protect the roof covering from UV-light, thus giving it a longer life span
  • We use water saving appliances, using rain water whenever possible
  • Energy-saving lighting with motion detectors and daylight control
  • Consistent insulation, strongly reducing loss of warmth
  • Use of geothermal heating; a water-to-water heat pump is used for heating. In winter this pump extracts heat from the ground using a Borehole Thermal Energy Storage field (BTES). This field consists of a borehole, in which a liquid circulates in a closed loop. Through conductivity it absorbs heat from the ground, which can be used to heat the building in winter. In summer the system works the other way round. The building is cooled by virtually free coolness extracted from the soil
  • While building fauna and flora are respected; in order to avoid disturbing brooding birds, the work is carried out in phases, ensuring that no activity takes place during the breeding season around the International Dyke and the Zwin plain.