Modern new building for a warm school

The existing school on the other side of the Ringlaan in Heusden-Zolder, which has existed since 1984, had had its time. A new building elsewhere was necessary in order to receive the 250 students in the basic and kindergarten educations properly. The program includes the construction of a new primary school, a sports hall, two pedestrian bridges, a car park and the construction of the park. The total gross floor area is 6,056.5 m², of which 4,390 m² is for the school building with a 391 m² covered playground. The sports hall has an area of ​​1,224 m². These areas indicate that the new school primarily provides more space for the children and their teachers. The design allows for seven nursery classes and twelve primary school classes, various ICT areas, a technology class, four areas for philosophical subjects and two care classes. There are also two dining areas with dining rooms and kitchens.

Fast execution

Q-BUS Architectenbureau was responsible for the design and follow-up of the architecture. Haex Bouwonderneming acted as main contractor in Heusden-Zolder. Gerry Rutten, project manager at Haex, is very satisfied with the project: “We handed over the new building a week before the construction holiday and the following week the moving van was ready to set everything up for the opening of the school in September. The work went very smoothly. Our experience with prefab meant that we could complete the construction work in no time and quickly make everything wind and waterproof. It gave an advantage in the post-processing and preparation of the techniques that we could spend more time on.”

Another thing that helped the speed of the project: the BIM model. Gerry Rutten: “The architect has already prepared the design completely in BIM with both stability and techniques. Our project preparation and prefab department worked on this during the implementation phase so that we could investigate conflicts and difficult points in advance. The chairman, construction managers and subcontractors could therefore easily consult the model on site.”

a whole thanks to passerelle

With its three floors, the folk school rises high above the surroundings and is thus visible for miles. Together with the kindergarten, the building was built of precast concrete columns with beams and infill masonry. The adjacent academy received concrete columns with wooden beams in a purlin structure. It created a soft and warm feeling. “To a visitor, it seems as if primary and kindergarten are separate buildings,” says Rutten. “But on the first floor they are connected via a walkway. In this way, we make it one big whole.”

Further ahead is the sports hall, which is realized in solid wooden construction and is covered with bricks. An innovative sports floor system with fully integrated LED lighting ensures that children move more and differently. The polyurethane cast floor with LED strips from the supplier Janssen-Fritsen is the first of its kind in Belgium.

Climate control

Furnishings and furnishings are of course tailored for the children. An acoustically dampening floor makes the rooms less crowded. Accent colors that repeat on the floor and the furniture help the children to orientate themselves better. Toddlers and primary school children also each have their own playground, which is accessible from the park. The two covered entrances to the primary school ensure a distribution and dispersion of the student flow during peak periods.

There are many techniques in GBS Beekbeemden that make life for children and teachers much more comfortable. A completely closed ventilation system D provides fresh air. Underfloor heating linked to a BEO track under the playground – 28 boreholes 150 meters deep – heats and cools the water. “That way we can perfectly control the air conditioning in the classrooms,” says Rutten. “In the hot August weeks, for example, you already noticed that it was a few degrees cooler than normal. It makes a big difference in such a busy school environment.”

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