The ecovillage is under construction!
... a former inner-city wasteland right next to the centre, in the "Grenz" district of the city of Esch-sur-Alzette in the south of Luxembourg, between Rue d'Audun and Boulevard Prince Henri: this is where BENU VILLAGE is being built!
The city of Esch-sur-Alzette has given BENU Village Esch asbl a plot of around 1800 square metres to build the first ecovillage in Luxembourg and the Greater Region.
The realisation of BENU VILLAGE is made possible by the generous support of the City of Esch-sur-Alzette! The Ministry of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, as well as the Ministry of Economy, the Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte and the Fondation André Losch constitute other valuable sources of support.
We thank all our supporters for their impressive commitment!
What is an ecovillage?
An ecovillage is a project that bases all its activities on sustainability, cooperation and participation.
As a platform of the socio-ecological circular economy, the BENU VILLAGE ecovillage consistently relies on principles of upcycling, local production and collaboration, as well as social and ecological values. BENU VILLAGE is part of the urban life of the city of Esch-sur-Alzette and provides innovative impulses in various areas:
- Optimisation and innovation of energy and resource consumption.
- Creation of a pilot project for the circular economy
- Promoting social urban development
- Ensuring transparent communication
From the beginnings to the ecovillage...
In April 2019, work started on the BENU PROVISORIUM pilot project with the aim of gaining initial practical experience, especially in terms of sustainable insulation. This first construction project was completed in October 2019.
Until October 2022, the provisional building housed the professional tailoring studio BENU COUTURE, which designs, produces and sells upcycled fashion made from used clothes in its own shop.
In November 2022 BENU COUTURE moved to the ecovillage. The completion of BENU VILLAGE is thus in full swing, and more BENU activities will soon take place here:
- the innovative and sustainable restaurant BENU SLOOW
- the exhibition and sales space for UpCycling creations by BENU and its external partners BENU LaSA
- the UpCycling furniture workshop BENU FORM
- the hotel room BENU BREAK
In the BENU VILLAGE, there are also rooms that can be rented out to other initiatives. Are you interested? Then get in touch here.
What is special about BENU VILLAGE?
BENU VILLAGE is built with as few new materials as possible. It is a place where we are constantly looking for new ways to further reduce resource consumption and avoid waste. A place where we continuously improve the environmental and social footprint. A place where creative, high-quality products and services are offered and which stand out for their sustainability.
The construction of the ecovillage follows the principle of sustainable circular economy. All new parts of the building are made of old, reused shipping containers that were lacking approval for offshore use. Dismantled materials from other construction projects, as well as leftover materials from partner companies, are used for the finishing. The container construction method makes it possible to minimise soil compaction and sealing, and the use of infiltration-capable pavements in the outdoor area reduces negative changes in the water cycle. Rainwater is collected and then used in the BENU VILLAGE for flushing toilets and watering the garden. The ecovillage also uses an autonomous heating/cooling system with reused solar panels and air heat exchangers, as well as an experimental, mobile large-scale water storage tank.
As a result of numerous researches and discussions both on the internal and external level - relying on expert advice - we have succeeded in building our ecovillage almost entirely without the use of environmentally harmful materials such as concrete, bitumen, plaster or silicone. The ecological footprint of these materials, which apparently are now part of the „basic repertoire of construction“, is considerable, while the recycling potential is modest, to say the least.
The effort, however, has been worthwhile:
- Almost exclusively, we relied on used metal and wood for the construction; partially, straw from the region came into use as well.
- The exterior insulation of the shipping containers consists of a mixture of "miscanthus" (Chinese reed) from the surrounding regions and chemically unmodified lime. Within the framework of the PROVISORIUM pilot project, some extensive experience in terms of the implementation of this sustainable construction method could be gained. When deconstructed, the material can be reused as organic fertiliser in a climate- and environmentally neutral way.
- The façades are plastered with clay, which was extracted directly on site.
- In the interiors, hemp is used as acoustic and thermal insulation. The use of clay contributes positively to the indoor climate.
But that is not all!
With the BENU METAMORPHOSE project, the outdoor and indoor areas of the ecovillage are being artistically designed in a participatory way: local natural materials, supposed "waste", a nice dose of creativity :) and enthusiastic people... that's all it takes! BENU VILLAGE is waiting for a community transformation in all its corners, niches and spaces.
You can take part in the creation of BENU VILLAGE as well! Get in touch with us!
Let's make BENU VILLAGE a place of togetherness, integration and collaboration. A place that moves people.