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Study on the quality of basic education infrastructures in Brussels-Capital Region

Client /

Service École

Bureau bruxellois de la planification


collectif ipé


Marina Berbel

Maruxa Touceda

Cristian Vergara

Year / 

2016 - 2017


the study

The quality of primary schools in Brussels is under pressure because of the increasing population, scarcity of places, and age of the infrastructures.  In this framework, and within the 2025 strategy for Brussels, the School Facilitator of the Brussels Planning Office (Perspective Brussels) has commissioned in 2016 this study to +research, together with the Collectif Ipé.  The objective of this study was to draw up an overview of the current situation of infrastructures regarding quality. This study led to the definition of a set of quality, context-specific criteria and to some recommendations for improvement, which constituted the main result.

The study has been developed in different phases. After the draw up of an exhaustive inventory of norms, guidelines and existing tools, we developed an observation methodology. The criteria covered addressed the following aspects:

  • the functional and programmatic convenience in terms of organization, equipment, adaptability, and flexibility of spaces indoors, outdoors and interfaces like the entrance or the limits of the site.

  • the security conditions of spaces indoors and outdoors (regarding fire, physical security, regarding asbestos, pollution of soil, etc.)

  • the health and comfort conditions (thermal, acoustic, visual, air quality, hygiene) and accessibility

  • environmental sustainability (related to energy, water consumption, biodiversity, waste management and materials)

  • the opening-up of the school to the neighborhood, the relation and integration of the school with the urban environment (share of equipments, contribution to urban quality, mobility, etc.)


By participatory dynamics during the workshops organized, a toolbox could be build. This toolbox collects all the tools that exist to help improving the different aspects, including subsidies, guidelines, synergies and networks, etc.
The observation methodology developed and the toolbox for improvement constituted the main core of the study.  These have been furtherly synthesized into an operational guide addressed to directions of schools, building managers or municipal authorities to evaluate the quality infrastructures, to identify weak points ant to outline ways to improve the situation.


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