Belgium/The City of Namur gives up a piece of its territory to promote building insulation

Published on 24/03/2023 | La rédaction


In order to encourage Namurians to insulate their facades from the outside, the authorities have set up a new procedure that is simpler and less costly than before.

The "wood and habitat" exhibition starts this Friday and many visitors will pass through the doors of Namur Expo to undertake the steps to "upgrade" their home energy. The City of Namur is taking advantage of the timing to unveil a new, simplified procedure for its citizens who want to insulate their property from the outside.

"With 55,000 homes, 57% of which are over 60 years old on the territory, there is a significant source of energy savings," says Charlotte Mouget (Ecolo), alderman of the ecological transition. However, the administrative procedures are heavy and expensive when you want to insulate your facade from the outside. "Inevitably, we cut into the public domain. It requires to refer to the local council. And it's very expensive," says the alderman of Urbanism Stéphanie Scailquin (Les Engagés). That is 8,000 € to buy a small piece of road. "This is equivalent to the amount of premiums for renovation. It is absurd," concedes alderman Luc Gennart (MR), in charge of public roads.

The three majority partners have therefore worked to simplify the procedure. It is now possible to undertake the renovation of one's facade from the outside by applying for a concession from the municipal domain. This is a quicker and entirely free procedure which, unlike the initial procedure of repurchase (which remains valid for those who wish), is not definitive. "The decision can be revoked for a matter of general interest. But for us, the insulation of buildings is a matter of public interest. It would be unnatural to go back on such a decision, insists Luc Gennart. Frankly, the gains in time and money clearly outweigh the legal risk."

The probability of going back on the decision of the public authority is therefore low, insist the three aldermen who encourage the people of Namur to subscribe to the approach. The only prerequisite to be able to submit a request is that the public space in question is part of the municipal network. The City's services will support citizens and evaluate any constraints related to the request, on a case-by-case basis. In particular, it must be ensured that the sidewalk that will be nibbled away retains a minimum width of 1.5 m to allow pedestrians to continue walking. In problematic cases, it is possible to undertake the isolation from 2.20 m in height, says the liberal alderman.

Finally, the concession of public space does not allow to override the heritage obligations. A renovation is always more complicated to carry out when it targets a building in the historic center of Namur.

Even so, the City intends to meet the objectives of decarbonization of Walloon buildings by considering the massification of the process. How can this be done? By canvassing homeowners in residential neighborhoods made up of semi-detached houses, among others. A way to achieve real economies of scale in terms of emissions.

As part of the exhibition wood and habitats in Namur Expo, the alderman Luc Gennart will present the municipal steps to take for a facade insulation from the outside this Sunday at 11 am.


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