BREEAM Outstanding

WDP and Barry Callebaut aim for the highest sustainability score – BREEAM Outstanding – with this new Global Distribution Centre.

Outstanding certificate

BREEAM is an internationally recognised sustainability approval label that involves testing a building/site for strict sustainability requirements that are gauged against specific benchmarks, such as energy, health, ecology, materials, waste, water, transport, pollution and management. There are 5 different levels of BREEAM certification that can be achieved: Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.

WDP and Barry Callebaut are aiming for the highest score – Outstanding – with this new Global Distribution Centre for Callebaut. It will be the first logistics building of more than 50,000 m² to be awarded this level of certification in Belgium.

To achieve this sustainability target, a number of different aspects are examined. SuReal is responsible for tracking these targets and guiding the project managers from the various parties involved.

Sustainability and wellbeing, not just on paper.


The first major aspect is the ‘Fossil-Free’ and energy-neutral nature of the buildings. In the first instance, this meant finding a site that provided the greatest possible efficiency factors (well-insulated, airtight buildings, LED lighting, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, the use of environmentally friendly coolants, energy-efficient equipment, etc.). To cater for the remaining energy requirement, a BEO field is used by which heat and cold are extracted from the ground. In addition, the roofs of the high-set and low-set buildings are fitted with solar panels capable of generating an annual energy output of 3,950 MWh. Recharging terminals are also provided for electric cars and trucks. The number of these terminals can be increased in the future so that all transport can become electric over time.

The next aspect is the surrounding landscape, for which a specialist ecologist was appointed. All water at the site is infiltrated, recovered and buffered for as long as possible. To make this happen, various infiltration basins will be created and a mixture of vegetation native to the area provided to enhance the local fauna and flora, with the butterfly acting as the ambassador species. The presence of these butterflies will also attract many other insects and species of wildlife.

For this reason, bird nesting and bat boxes will be placed in trees and against the outside walls of the building, as well as insect hotels. Energy-efficient, bat-friendly outdoor lighting has also been chosen, operating on motion sensors. This means that the fauna and flora will be inconvenienced as little as possible by the lighting.

A third aspect is comfort and wellbeing in the workplace. When the project was being designed, various daylight studies and thermal comfort studies were conducted using detailed simulation models to optimise the design. The impact on the environment caused by the noise produced from operating activities and the acoustic comfort and safety of employees were examined by way of an extensive acoustic study and a 3D computer model. Adjustments were made where required. As a result of these efforts, the future noise level of operations at the site will be limited to 45 dB(a).

View Frequently Asked Questions about the project

Frequently Asked Questions