Official opening of the demonstration project of the company Beneens in Olen, Belgium

Beneens is an interior design and construction company based in Olen (Belgium), and a trendsetter in innovation and sustainability in the built environment. Beneens celebrated their 80th anniversary from 14-16 October this year by opening a brand-new nearly energy neutral office building and inaugurating a new waste wood energy plant.

The new office building is constructed in cross-laminated timber with certified PEFC-wood. This way of construction and new building technologies is ideal for low energy buildings. The building will be used as a showcase for potential clients.

The new energy plant is used to valorise waste wood from the own carpentry and waste wood from local companies. The waste wood is burned in a biomass boiler generating water at a temperature of 145°C. The heat is used for electricity production in an ‘Organic Rankine Cycle’ (ORC) and for process heating in the company. The waste heat of ORC is used for heating of the existing and new office and a number of low temperature processes.

The company Beneens is also a partner in the EU-funded Horizon2020 Innovation project called STORY. In this European project Beneens will be demonstrating the following innovations:

– Enhancement of the electrical output of the ORC through the use of thermal energy storage
– Innovative determination of the state of charge of the thermal energy storage with a limited number of sensors
– Optimisation of the thermal grid to the new office by using different supply temperatures

In the near future the aim is to complete the installation with electrical storage based on batteries in order to increase the self-consumption of the locally produced electricity in the existing and new office building. In the long term, the aim is to deliver heat from the waste wood boiler to a new SME-zone in the neighbourhood of the company.

The new energy plant was officially opened by European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, responsible for employment, social affairs, skills and labour and mobility and by vice minister president of the Flemish Government Bart Tommelein. More than 1000 guests participated in this great and well organised opening event.