Material Village – Brussels

A multifunctional and modular space combining storage space, showroom and offices

What’s happening? How does it happen?

The Material Village includes 3 warehouses built along the canal in the Vergote basin, currently occupied by the company MPro, which offers more than 10,000m² of building materials. The idea is to create a multifunctional and modular space combining storage space, showroom and offices: 7000 m² of sustainable warehouses! The objective is to make the Material Village the consolidation point for orders from one or more construction sites. Loaded vehicles leave for the sites, depending on the progress in real time of the work, avoiding unnecessary round trips.

Why is this an interesting circular initiative for ports?

The construction of these warehouses on the port facilitates the use of the waterway to transport construction materials from other cities or distribute them as close as possible to the worksites in the city.

The Port wishes to keep construction companies within its port boundaries and not to move them outside the Brussels region.

What is the relation with the port and water?

The buildings belong to the port, but the company MPro, which has been operating in Brussels for 200 years, holds a concession for them. As part of the concession agreement, MPro has secured to the transport of construction materials by water.

What is the relation with the city?

Due to population growth and the generally poorly conserved built patrimony in Brussels, renovation projects in urban areas will increase in the near future, and with them, the number of small-scale transport flows. The solution passes by placing building materials closer to the urban center since it is home to many construction sites.

What are the ambitions?

The project’s ambition is to solve the distribution of building materials to professionals and individuals who carry out major renovation projects by relying on the waterways. Indirectly, it facilitates the managing of building sites by providing JIT solutions that help spare place and time.

Who is behind it?

The total cost of the project is nearly €8.5 million, including €7.9 million for the Port of Brussels and €600,000 financed by Grafton Group plc. The construction village is a flagship project of the Port of Brussels and an integral part of the Canal Plan, led by the Regional Government. Its construction was strongly encouraged by the city because it clusters all of MPro’s Brussels activities on a single site, subsidiarily allowing the construction of the Picard Bridge and the creation of a new regional park on the left bank of the Béco basin, where MPro was previously located.

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