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Construction works at Democase in Ghent advance well

Since May 2018, construction works on the subterranean parking area of the ‘Central field’ of the ‘Nieuwe Dokken’ district have been finished and building of the apartments aboveground has commenced.  Meanwhile, a subcontractor has integrated the complex system of underground piping, cables and sewer lines into a Building Information Model (BIM). This model was used to solve conflicting pipe connections and final errors in the engineering plans. The construction of underground technics has started and is expected to finish before the end of Q2 2019.

In February 2018, P&ID-plans and design of the water treatment plant (by the company Pantarein) and the vacuum station (by Roediger/Aqseptence) were finalised. This planning needed to be aligned with the construction of the residential housing and the city building (school/sports complex). Operational testing of the system by the technicians of Pantarein and Roediger/Aqseptence is expected before the end of May 2019.

Pantarein (subcontractor of DuCoop) finished engineering of the water treatment system by the beginning of 2018 and immediately started with the implementation on-site. This was necessary because all the installations were expected to be in the subterranean water processing facility before the parking area was closed and the construction of the ground level of the buildings was started.  
Installations were delivered on-site between April and June 2018. Construction of internal piping and testing of installations will take place in Q1 2019. When the City Building is officially opened, the water treatment system needs to be operational (May 2019). 
Future phases in the development will be connected with a backbone of heating grid-, vacuum- and grey water pipes who will bring wastewater to the water treatment system and heating to the more then 400 apartments in this sustainable district, respectively. 
In September- October 2018, DuCoop finalized practically all piping in the public domain, connecting future development sites to the ZAWENT-‘backbone’ and connecting the district to the soap factory ‘Christeyns’, who will supply waste heat to the district heating system but will also reclaim the effluent wastewater from the ZAWENT system. 

Cooperative structure
DuCoop will demonstrate the ‘ZAWENT’-technology and its innovative business model based on a cooperative financing scheme, which involves all the main stakeholders in its ecosystem.  Total investments (>4M euros between 2017-2024) will be implemented in a special purpose vehicle (SPV) financed by private equity, investment subsidies and bank loans.

Over the last year, the DuCoop cooperative organized several events to get in contact with the future residents of ‘De Nieuwe Dokken’ district. The ambition of the project was met with enthusiasm by the future home-owners, who were invited to the construction site to sign a ‘sustainability charter’ (event organized by the project developer ‘Schipperskaai development’ and the City of Ghent) and the shareholder meeting of DuCoop cvba (which was attended by more than 50% of the shareholders).

In October 2018, DuCoop organized ‘focus’-groups with future residents to inform about their concerns and expectations about living and using the ‘ZAWENT’ system.