Each year, the Belgian Energy & Environment Awards are allocated to candidates having played an active part, through creativity and achievement, in the field of sustainable development. The Special International Polar Foundation 2008 Award is granted to the candidate whose project has favourable implications in the fight against climate change.
This year, the IPF awarded Synergy International, an architectural office, for having built "the first Walloon passive office complex" with an energy consumption of just 15 kWh/m2 per year. Commissioned by Group Investsud, the complex's conception was designed to reduce the total amount of greenhouse gases it would emit before and after it was built. Everything from the building materials to the building's actual operation was carefully studied in relation to the building's energy consumption and environmental impact. The company will be able to move in by the end of August 2008.
Thierry Touchais, IPF Executive Director was there to grant the award to Synergy International for its 'innovative and experimental project". He reminded everyone about the importance of reducing our carbon emissions, and drew an interesting metaphore between summer calorie diets and the pressing need for a "carbon diet".