The Ghent architectural firm BAST Architects & Engineers is currently working on the renovation of a monument in order to fit out their future offices. For the architectural firm, a healthy workplace in harmony with nature is essential. For this reason, and because the firm wants to preserve the special appearance of the building's facade, BAST has chosen to work with hemp blocks in order to carry out a renovation from the inside.

BAST Architects & Engineers: building and renovating for a healthy world

BAST Architects & Engineers was created eight years ago from the merging between IADB (Ingenieur-Architect Deraedt Bruno) and Alexis Versele Architecten. The new BAST combines the strengths of both companies and is at home in the fields of urban planning, architecture and construction.

Today, BAST is a very active and recognized architectural office, offering solutions to the greatest challenges - ecology, social aspects, economy and meaning - of today's and tomorrow's society. From this holistic perspective, BAST contributes to a healthy world through its various projects, creating added value for people and the environment; a world that offers respect, space and opportunities to all.

In every construction and renovation project, BAST also ensures that aesthetics and durability are combined and that the result stands the test of time in an admirable way.


The new BAST offices : a reference project

BAST's offices are currently busy renovating their own workplace. "The renovation of our new office is a landmark project for us," says managing partner Bruno Deraedt. Next to the BAST offices is another project, UR, a co-working space that aims to connect people and nature. "Here we want to spread what we also want to achieve for others, namely healthy workplaces in beautiful destinations and in harmony with nature."

When renovating, BAST's goal is always to reuse as many old elements as possible, and this project is no exception. For example, the existing lobby will be completely reused and become the space for offices and workstations in this new setting.

"This building also has a special look on the outside and we want to preserve it," says Deraedt. "That's why we decided to renovate and insulate the building from the inside. And because we want to work in harmony with nature, there is only one solution for this kind of insulation, namely the hemp block".

After all, hemp blocks are made of 100% natural materials that do not emit any hazardous substances.

Insulating inner walls with hemp blocks

When renovating from the inside, there is always the risk that the entire energy dynamics of a building will be disrupted. Indeed, the thermal effect of the walls can be disturbed. By lining the existing walls on the inside with hemp blocks, possible deviations, inherent in any condensation problem, are avoided. The hemp blocks permanently regulate the humidity thanks to a breathable wall that allows water vapour to pass through.

"We opted for a 12 cm block with a 3 cm fill, which is a fairly thin layer of insulation," says Deraedt. "In the building we also have a 6 m high wall that we have to be able to keep straight. The hemp blocks remain perpendicular, even at this height. For this purpose, we also adjusted the anchoring during the work with the contractor". After all, the hemp blocks are easy to install and provide a perpendicular wall.

Collaboration with IsoHemp

Bruno Deraedt is particularly pleased with the collaboration with IsoHemp. By using hemp blocks for inner insulation, BAST can make this project what they want it to be: healthy, pleasant workplaces in harmony with nature.

Since hemp blocks are not yet well established as a sustainable renovation material in Flanders, BAST was able to rely on the expertise of IsoHemp in their search for the right contractor.

With this project to renovate their own office, BAST creates the added value it represents: a sustainable conversion of an old building into a healthy workplace in harmony with nature. Due to their 100% natural origin and their ability to regulate humidity, hemp blocks made a significant contribution to this endeavour.

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