The RICH’L shopping centre in Waterloo, Belgium, has undergone a major redevelopment to make the centre more sustainable and enhance the overall shopping experience.
Built in the 1970s, the centre is currently operated by Redevco, a real estate investment management company.
The redevelopment project was announced in January 2022. The shopping centre was renamed RICH’L, after its address (Drève Richelle), in the same month.
The site’s layout was reimagined to accommodate mixed commercial plans as part of the redevelopment. The final phase of redevelopment began in August 2021 and the project was completed in October 2022.
Location of RICH’L shopping centre
The RICH’L centre is situated on Drève Richelle 6, Waterloo, Belgium. Shoppers can reach RICH’L by bus, car, and bicycle.
Details of the RICH’L shopping centre redevelopment
Spanning 23,000m², the redeveloped shopping centre features 20 retail stores.
The first phase of the multiphase redevelopment project started in 2018. The second phase of the project involved the demolition of the Auto 5 garage and replacement with a new building with new tenants such as AS Adventure, Maisons du Monde, and Chaussures Delcambe.
The Quick and Pizza Hut restaurants at the shopping centre were demolished and three new pavilions were created to accommodate new Pizza Hut, Burger King, and Medi-Market stores.
The former large Brico store was demolished as part of the final phase. It was moved to BIX shopping centre, in Waterloo. A new building was constructed in its place to house several new stores.
The central square houses a food and beverage pavilion. A 1,000m² free-standing building occupied by new ING bank offices was also developed.
Furthermore, the project included the refurbishment of the car park area at the site to increase parking spaces. The shopping centre’s parking spaces were increased to 714.
The redeveloped centre has 42 bike shelters, six electric bike shelters, and a music venue. It is planned to be installed with 16 electric vehicle charging stations, out of which four are considered fast and 12 are regular.
RICH’L design details
RICH’L’s design is influenced by the city’s traditional building materials, including bluestone, bricks, and steel.
The building’s facades and volumes reflect the typology and verticality of the city centres in the area, with a special focus on green spaces.
Stores at the RICH’L shopping complex
The existing tenants within the shopping complex are from different categories including from the pharmaceutical, food, and home decor sectors.
The stores include Brico, Lunch Garden, Carrefour, Tip Top Couture, Fast & Clean, Maisons du Monde, Burger King, AS Adventure, Pizza Hut, Medi-Market, Shell, and The Box.
New tenants at the shopping complex include sporting goods retailer Intersport, home decor brand 4 Murs, fashion brand Ville Neuve, and Komini, an indoor amusement park for children up to 12 years of age.
In addition, KoGroup trampoline park, TUI, Dish, which serves a vast selection of food, drinks and refreshments, and Terragame, a hyper-VR centre, became part of the shopping centre.
Sustainability features at RICH’L shopping centre
Several measures were implemented to make the site and the buildings sustainable, as part of Redevco’s ambitions to achieve carbon-free operations across its portfolio by 2040.
Redevco applied the principle of Trias Energetica, which means using as little energy as possible at every stage of the construction process, to achieve carbon-free emissions goals.
RICH’L incorporated sustainable materials and recyclable construction materials for the construction of the building. It also implemented initiatives such as thermal insulation, natural lighting, green roofs, waste management, and the reuse of rainwater.
The site has 8,265m² of green roofs and is installed with approximately 2,300 solar panels on its rooftop to generate 790,000kWh of clean energy a year. The produced clean electricity is equivalent of the energy required to power 226 households.
The tenants have also committed to implement measures to reduce their own impact on the environment.
The permeability of the car park facilitates the penetration of rainwater into the soil. The final building is completely carbon dioxide-neutral, with higher insulation values than present international standards.
The Medi-Market and Pizza Hut units are made of wood, which allows the structures to be completely dismantled and reused in the future.
Redevco is targeting the BREEAM-In-Use ‘Excellent’ certification for all of the new buildings within the shopping centre site.
Key players involved
Shell Recharge, a company offering public and home-charging solutions, will provide electric charging stations for the project.
Franki, part of Willemen Groep, a construction company in Belgium, was in charge of building a car park, seven shops, and renovating the shell of an old Carrefour store.