Start construction of BTES field for Mechelen's urban renewal project MALT

In Mechelen's station district, MALT, the new residential and work district along the Geerdegem canal, is taking shape. Following the excavation works that commenced last year, drilling has now started for the construction of the BTES field that will sustainably heat and cool the buildings through an underground heat network. As a result, future office users and residents at MALT will no longer depend on fossil fuels.

Greet Geypen, Alderwoman for urban development, spatial planning and housing, economy, businesses and employment: "As from 2025, the use of fossil fuels for new buildings in Flanders will be a thing of the past. The BTES field under MALT is a great example of how we can turn Mechelen into a sustainable city and use geothermal heat as a green energy source. This energy-efficient urban renewal project fits in perfectly with our vision to focus on sustainable living and working and is a concrete step towards Mechelen – Climate Neutral".

Energy-efficient new city quarter

The old Inofer site – once a bustling malt factory – will make way for housing, recreation and workplaces, all in a low-traffic environment offering plenty of green space while retaining the iconic heritage character.

Sustainability and energy efficiency are paramount in the realisation of this project. PSR and CODIC are developing 11 town houses and 15 flats at MALT, which will be Near Energy Neutral, as well as 18,000 m² of progressive heritage and new-build offices with a BREEAM Excellent Score, a first on the Mechelen office market.  To achieve these energy efficiency targets, investments will be made in sustainable and innovative techniques, such as the construction of a BTES field combined with solar panels, insulation and heat pumps.

11.7 km of piping

By extracting green energy from the soil, the buildings at MALT will no longer depend on fossil fuels. The BTES field at MALT will operate through 90 boreholes as deep as 150 metres, in which energy will be temporarily stored. In those boreholes, a closed pipe network will be constructed with a total length of 11.7 km. Through these pipes, a mixture of water and glycol, the transport medium that extracts or adds heat (or cold) from the soil, will flow. To make the BTES field even more energy-efficient, the underground network will be connected to water/heat pumps, thus creating the unique possibility of exchanging energy among buildings.


Cheaper heating and cooling

Thanks to properly insulated buildings, the BTES field will almost completely cover the heat demand. An additional advantage is that cooling will also be economical. In this way, occupants and office users will become largely independent of the power grid. 

Christophe Jacobs, General Director of CODIC Belgium: "It is precisely these far-reaching investments that convince tenants to leave their old sites and move to this particularly energy-efficient project. The savings in energy costs by far exceed the higher rent after the move. Moreover, the renewed concept also meets the strict ESG standards imposed by the European authorities. The theory has already been put into practice with leases for around 9,000 m² of offices to, amongst others, Alken Maes and another international company that currently wishes to remain anonymous."

Johan Geeroms, Managing Director of PSR, project developer of Jan De Nul Group:  "MALT is a successful example of the reconversion of an abandoned industrial site into a mixed-use, future-proof development consisting of offices and residential entities while preserving the Socaré warehouse. We’re realising a limited offer of 11 single-family houses and 15 flats, some with a view of the water, all around a central park area. The units are Near Energy Neutral (BEN) with an E level lower than 20 and will also connect to the existing BTES field.   A perfect marriage between 'location' and 'sustainability'."



According to the current planning, the first office users will be welcomed by the summer of 2025. In the spring of 2026, the first residents will be able to move in.  For more information on offer and work progress, visit: