Located next to Brussels Airport are the new headquarters of KPMG Belgium, a company providing audit, tax and consultancy services. The so-called PassPort building, designed by Jaspers-Eyers Architects, offers heaps of natural light and reflecting materials, an atrium with indoor greenery and, most importantly, a BREEAM Excellent certification. This energy-efficient building, devoted to the wellbeing of its occupants, corresponded perfectly to KPMG’s green philosophy. They are now occupying the right half of the building.
Contrary to their previous workspace – a classic American-looking environment with fragmented offices, insufficient light and blue carpets – the new space had to be open and sustainable. “We wanted to create a domestic business environment using sustainable materials,” Ingrid Sitters, Facilities Director at KPMG Belgium, elaborates. On the 4th floor, acting as a meeting place for KPMG’s clients and partners, an eyecatcher was required. This ultimately resulted in an unexpected, but intriguing, mix & match of carpet tiles.
A green and happy workplace
When Jaspers-Eyers Architects proposed a biophilic design that complemented the PassPort building, interior designer Natalie Schoonjans was tasked with developing the concept, using sustainable materials. Her idea was to make a fluid transition between three modulyss carpet tile collections – Moss, Leaf and Willow – that would run dynamically along the curved lines of the building. These three patterns, part of the Handcraft collection, explore the relationship between nature and craft in an organic design bringing earthy tones. Each design differs a little from the other, and can thus be combined in a perfect textural puzzle. “At KPMG,” Ingrid Sitters explains, “we opted for a calmer pattern around the workstations, and a more intricate texture for the aisles.”
Supporting their green philosophy, the chosen carpet tiles should not only bring a sense of calm into the office, but should also be sustainable. So, when learning that Moss, Leaf and Willow are made of 100% regenerated ECONYL® yarn (derived from recovered fishing nets and other waste materials), have recycled content in the backing, and even include the CO2 emissions reducing CO2RE initiative, KPMG could tick all the boxes.
After having moved into their new offices, KPMG happily welcomed a new work ethic. “There’s a shift in mentality,” Ingrid Sitters explains, “being at the office means that I’m meeting my colleagues.” A beautiful example of how an open workspace can inspire interaction and collaboration amongst employees.
We wanted to create a domestic business environment using sustainable materials.
Creating an eyecatcher
On the 4th floor, where the meeting and lounge rooms are located, KPMG wanted to do something completely different to captivate their clients. In contrast to the calm, biophilic design of Moss, Leaf and Willow, these areas were given a vintage charm with the modulyss Patchwork collection. “When we saw the samples,” Ingrid Sitters tells us, “we thought ‘wow, this is it’.” The Patchwork tiles instantly gave the interior a cosy and welcoming feel with warm and neutral tones and a quirky pattern.
KPMG, ambitious to lower its carbon footprint, also decided to offset the installed Patchwork tiles with the CO2RE project, even though it’s not standard. This made the production of the chosen carpet tiles CO2 neutral.
The facts – KPMG and CO2RE
For the whole KPMG project (including the new offices in Antwerp and Hasselt), an impressive 103 tonnes of CO2 emissions were reduced. The CO2RE initiative enabled KPMG and modulyss to purchase 20 energy-efficient cookstoves, which made a positive change for 20 families, or about 100 people in Kenya, via the Paradigm Project. This in return saved 279 trees because the new stoves, in comparison to the old cooking fires, use up to 60% less wood as fuel.
Wondering how this works? The process is a simple one.
CO2RE is a carbon offset initiative in partnership with CO2logic that is standard on the Handcraft collection (Moss, Leaf, Willow and Grind). But, just like KPMG did, it can be requested on all the modulyss carpet tile collections. Once the project’s carpet tile production is finished, the greenhouse gas emissions are calculated and turned into a CO2 equivalent for which credits are purchased. With those credits, modulyss supports the Paradigm Project in Kenya. This initiative provides clean cooking stoves to families who, as a result, suffer less from indoor cooking smoke, don’t have to walk for miles to collect wood, and spend less money on fuel.