The roofs of 34 public buildings were fitted with solar panels in 2018 as part of SolarClick, a regional programme. In total, that is the size of two football pitches!
In 2018, solar panels popped up all over the roofs of Brussels' public buildings including schools, swimming pools, care homes, offices and workshops.
Was it a happy coincidence? Of course not! It was the result of the SolarClick programme launched by the Brussels Government and entrusted to Sibelga in collaboration with Bruxelles-Environnement. The end goal is to fit 150 Brussels' public buildings with solar panels by 2020. This will reduce CO2 emission in Brussels by 4,500 tonnes and help to achieve the aims of the regional Air-Climate-Energy plan.
A work site providing peace of mind
The 34 work sites were prepared, planned and supervised by a dedicated Sibelga team alongside the necessary local and regional authorities. Three companies appointed by a public tender process performed the fitting work: Energreen, EnergyVision and Eoluz.
Not all roofs are the same, and the approach taken had to be adapted to suit the type of building, its location and its specific features. For example, organising the work site at the central Fonds de Logement office in Ixelles was quite the task. "Getting the panels onto the roof was a real challenge. The building is located on a narrow one-way street. In the end we had to use a very large crane to place the equipment on the roof, going over another building in the process", explains Jessica Axmacher, architect at Fonds du Logement.
As the site needed to obtain authorisation to block the street and change the direction of the traffic, Sibelga's role as coordinator was greatly appreciated: "Our adventure with SolarClick represented real peace of mind. It was really great how everything was taken care of and the site was managed well", highlights Élodie Renty, the architect in charge of managing the Fonds du Logement building.
An simpler process
It was the same story in Evere, where three municipal buildings (two schools and a swimming pool) were fitted with solar panels: "The services provided by the SolarClick programme outstripped what a standard third-party investor would provide and the municipality was able to avoid subsequent investment by doing away with the need for long public tender processes" explains Edouard Dekegel, energy project engineer and building energy efficiency officer in the municipality of Evere. "I would like to thank the programme managers who are always available, attentive and pass on any questions and special requests to the installers from the municipality in efficient manner."
These projects have also enabled the municipality to identify areas that require improvement: "The SolarClick programme includes putting in place a lifeline and/or anchor points to guarantee the safety of the people who perform maintenance on the solar panels. Unfortunately for the municipality, while this is standard practice, these protective measures do not take into account the other types of maintenance work that may be required on the roof such as cleaning ledges or managing rain water run-off." This is something that will be considered earlier for the next SolarClick projects in the municipality of Evere.
On track for 2019
Yassine Bousata, SolarClick project manager at Sibelga, also thinks that 2018's results were positive: "After a huge amount of preparatory work, 2018 saw our processes come to fruition and undergo continual improvement. It was also the year that saw us create trusted relationships with the solar panels fitters. I would like to thank all my colleagues who were involved for their part in this success!"
Any resolutions for SolarClick in 2019? "To continue confidently in the same vein, while also ensuring that the work done is of high quality by carrying out in-depth monitoring", states Yassine Bousata. It's looking positive for the coming year!