Book and Website on Post-War Building Materials in Housing in Brussels (1945-1975)

Cover of the book

In 2013-2015, VUB Architectural Engineering has been working on a research project on post-war housing in Brussels (see projects > retrofit), funded by Innoviris (http://www.brusselsretrofitxl.be/). The research has resulted in a trilingual book and website which help to shed light on the development and applications of innovative building materials and techniques in house building in Brussels (and Belgium) in the period 1945-1975. The book and website will assist a broad group of stakeholders in recognizing and valorising typical post-war materials in restoration and retrofit projects.

The book and the website are composed of eight chapters, each dealing with a specific material or building product that was invented or innovative and was commonly applied in residential buildings in the post-war period: lightweight concrete; thermal and acoustical insulation; glass and glazing; prefab floor systems; window frames; cladding and sandwich panels; precast concrete fa├žade panels; and heavy prefab systems. Along with the characteristics of these materials and building products, common brands and manufacturers are documented and applications in residential buildings in the Brussels Capital Region are illustrated. Moreover, a large collection of product advertisements and applications published in contemporary architectural journals can be accessed from the website by means of easy search tool. The website also provides additional research content, including an index of (obsolete) products and company names, and a trilingual lexicon with most relevant technical terms.

The book and website (www.postwarbuildingmaterials.be) were launched on December 10, 2015, in the CIVA in Ixelles. The book can be downloaded in pdf using the link below. The book is not available in bookstores: it is exclusively available at the department ARCH of the VUB (Pleinlaan 2 in Elsene, building K, 1st floor). If you want to pick up a copy of the book, please make an appointment with stephanie.van.de.voorde@vub.ac.be .

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