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MCA wants to go for an efficient and sustainable maritime sector. It is therefore in MCA's DNA to work on the greening of the maritime industry in the context of the full energy transition. MCA researches and invests in different pillars: efficiency, effectiveness, economy, ecology, ship management, safety and health. This DNA is expressed in the development of the campus; clean shipping translates into sustainable building.
The challenge for MCA is the complete transformation of what it was: a lubricating oil factory decades ago, into what it will become: an innovative campus.
MCA's ambition is to transform the site into a valuable, green and healthy environment that steps away from the classic industrial past towards an innovative, sustainable and clean future. This is evidenced by the thorough decontamination that MCA is currently carrying out to convert the heavily contaminated soil into a quality basis for the construction of the buildings.
Sustainability and circularity
MCA sets the bar particularly high for these buildings in terms of sustainability, energy efficiency and circularity. A BREEAM outstanding and WELL platinum certification will demonstrate this objectively.
The energy demand of the main building is fully covered by renewable energy generation on the site itself. In the choice of materials, a life cycle approach is important. For example, the concrete from the old site will be reused in the concrete of the new building.
Because of the site's unique location in the green space, it is a logical progression for MCA to commit to greening as much as possible. Due to MCA's strategic objectives for a sustainable maritime sector, MCA wants to extend this vision to the physical campus that will help realise these objectives. For MCA, the site must and will therefore become a green business park.
In the context of supporting the local fauna, biodiversity and the green character, the buildings will be designed to be nature inclusive. The architecture contributes by using circular and local materials but even more by its timeless and qualitative architectural concept with the provision of green roofs, animal shelters and intelligent dimming of light sources.
The raised green deck landscape contributes to a pleasant outdoor experience for the users and visitors of the site, as well as to sustainable interventions, such as in the area of water retention that enables infiltration of rainwater into the soil of the site and the polder environment.
There is a strong focus on the interaction between the site and nature. The densification of the campus' functions through efficient use of space permits the use of a more limited area of the site. This offers the opportunity to return a substantial share of 20% of the site's surface area to nature. The focus is on the zones around the site to ensure a seamless transition. In addition, there will be a green corridor in the middle of the site. This initiative is in line with the vision of MCA, not only in terms of sustainability, but also in terms of strengthening the local nature values. In concrete terms, this area will be laid out with local greenery and marsh-like water features. MCA will be supported by ecologists and sustainability experts so that the site can fit in perfectly with its surroundings.
Because of the maritime character, it speaks for itself that the water side is extremely important for MCA. The Scheldt is important to bring people to and from the MCA. In this way, it becomes an experience to come to the MCA via the water. Furthermore, people are encouraged to travel by bicycle, for example by using electric bicycles. Various sharing systems and, in time, shuttles or buses should also offer the possibility of leaving the car at home.
Antwerp 05.05.2020 - For the first time in years there is activity on the former BP site situated in the south of the city of Antwerp along the river Scheldt. The demolition and soil clean-up of the old industrial site is the first step towards the new and ambitious Maritime Campus Antwerp (MCA).
MCA will bring together maritime and port-based players from start-ups to corporations. This do-campus will be the centre for innovation extending to the broad maritime and port industry. Here companies, public partners, researchers and start-ups will form a community. The ambition is to strengthen the European and global maritime industry and make it sustainable.
The demolition and soil clean-up works are expected to be completed by the end of this year. The ambition is to start the construction works for the first building phase of about 30.000m² early next year. The ambition is to open in 2023.
“For the moment we have world class ports like the Port of Antwerp and a world class maritime industry in our country. The world is changing fast and competition is also increasing. To maintain our position we need to look and think ahead. I strongly believe in cooperation and innovation as key for these challenges. Joining forces with partners creates scale and by combining know-how and competences will result in R&D and innovative ideas that will help us to respond to new evolutions in the industry. MCA will help us to maintain our current position and even strengthen and expand it.”
Reslea, the real estate branch of CMB, last year acquired the former BP-site located at the Benzineweg next to the nature reserve ‘Hobokense polder’. The vision of MCA is being translated into an ambitious first building project and masterplan for the entire site. This campus will grow into a do-campus with room for the core businesses of larger maritime corporations, collaboration and collective creation, labs, workshops, a vast range of R&D-facilities, classes and education and supporting services. MCA aims to connect as many qualitative players from the broad maritime industry as possible in one community looking for answers to the maritime challenges of tomorrow; private, education and research, public partners can all take part.
“The idea of co-creation for MCA is also applied to the way we are developing the campus and why we chose an innovative building team formula. We looked for partners who share our vision on MCA and our vision of collective creation. The building team partners are compatible and stable companies that bring the right people to the table.
Because the team will work together for many years to come, the competences, means and mentality were extensively screened. It is exciting to make a change and to see how this will develop into an inspiring campus concept. Also the MCA community will be based on this rather atypical approach.”
Since last year a building team has been working on the design of the first building and the vision for the development of the site. The building team for MCA is a first because of the very early involvement and the far-reaching collaboration with the architects KCAP and Atelier Romain, contractor Willemen Construct, engineering company Tractebel and smart building specialist Spacewell. The demolition and soil clean-up will be executed by Deme Environmental Contractors (DEC) and Aertssen.