"Back to the office In The Yard"

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"Back to the office In The Yard"

With ‘In The Yard’ Joost Callens, the executive chairman of Camino group, has created’ a unique office development in which connectivity and sustainability are the central ingredients. The exceptional and visible location along the strategic E40 motorway, just a stone’s throw from Ghent, will not only offer businesses exceptional accessibility but in particular an unexpected gem behind the architectural facade: a green oasis with a wide range of well-being facilities to give employees a sense of home when they are in the office. Thanks to this rich mix of facilities, In The Yard aims to achieve one of the first WELL certifications in Flanders.

CEUSTERS’ office team is actively contributing to the marketing of In The Yard based on a shared DNA in which involvement and commitment are central. The Camino Group, for its part, is a family holding company consisting of a group of 11 strong brands. All companies are active in the real estate sector and share this same DNA, in which social commitment plays a key role. All companies can be further subdivided into 6 clusters:

• Residential real estate development: with Durabrik as the most well-known brand, Camino develops both greenfield residential projects and the repurposing of heritage;

• Construction partner for social housing;

• Sustainable, functional and aesthetic renovation;

• The installation of efficient energy techniques in the domains of living and water;

• Suppliers in the finishing of new construction projects;

• A company that owns and rents homes and offices, with special attention to people with disabilities.

This last category in fact characterizes Joost as a person. He exudes natural leadership, and is driven by his passion for real estate, but Joost also has a special eye for social commitment – an outstanding concern which is not always common in the tough real estate world. He believes in sustainable entrepreneurship even without the obligations of ESG objectives, and is driven by the challenge of giving as many people as possible access to quality housing. The right to quality and affordable housing runs like a mantra throughout his professional career.


In The Yard is a fairly atypical project for the Camino group given their expertise in residential development. The first challenge was architectural: how do you build a sustainable office next to a motorway without disturbing the image of the neighbouring building (the headquarters of Durabrik)? By extending the company’s DNA into the architecture – transparency is emphasized by the large central glass section that allows you to see right through the building from the motorway to the beautifully landscaped patio gardens. But also by innovatively thinking about space: the patio garden was built above a warehouse, underneath which a very large number of underground parking spaces are provided.

By contrast with the better known BREEAM certification, WELL certification focuses less on the technical construction properties of a building, but rather on the health and safety of the building’s users. Much attention was therefore paid to the working environment in terms of climate, lighting, illumination, ergonomics, colours and materials during the design phase. But it doesn’t stop there. The users of In The Yard have facilities that promote their health, such as sports (a padel court is available on site) and a rooftop vegetable garden. Even the elevators are hidden from view to encourage users and visitors to take the stairs.

The underground car park also meets new, unexpected standards: the space has been acoustically conceived to limit noise except for the music playing within it. On top of this, there are no fewer than 80 charging stations for electric cars, and infrastructure has also been provided for cyclists, such as charging points, showers, and breakdown assistance.

Flexible, efficient & human

This WELL approach illustrates a fundamental difference from many traditional office developments. You can only ensure sustainable and healthy use if you can deliver the complete pack- age and at the same time continue to monitor the quality of the services provided.

In The Yard therefore combines classic long-term rentals with co-working facilities, a flexible approach that provides reassurance for corporates as they can quickly respond to rapidly changing needs. Even the walls were built to allow for quick adjustments. Human connectivity is further stimulated among employees and also among the different users of In The Yard. Large event spaces are at their disposal, and the garden constitutes a real meeting place. Padel tournaments or ex- changing knowledge in the vegetable garden will promote openness and a human atmosphere.

“Today, businesses are looking for buildings where they have control over energy costs,” emphasizes Joost. This is why In The Yard is heated using fossil-free energy and cooled based on modulating geothermal drilling, while the rooftop gardens are used for rainwater storage. Controlled sun blinds provide optimal daylight, and the hydro loop gives water a second life: a local water purification plant purifies the water and the nutrients feed the vegetable garden. The circle is complete.

In The Yard offers a solution for companies looking for the optimal manner to attract their employees back to the office. “Remote working is of course here to stay, but the pendulum may start to swing back now. Companies want to maintain their relationship with their employees because this results in better performance and more satisfaction. We will only succeed in our mission when employees feel truly at home at In The Yard,” concludes Joost Callens.


The Rise of Sustainable Offices

The demand for sustainable offices is skyrocketing as companies globally aim to minimize their environmental impact. This trend is fueled by a collective commitment to combat climate change and meet the eco-friendly expectations of employees and customers alike.

The appeal of green office spaces extends to investors, who view them as assets that offer lower operating costs and attract tenants committed to sustainability. Additionally, strict environmental regulations are pushing companies towards eco-friendly buildings.

Ronny Nuten, head of Agency at CEUSTERS, states, “Sustainability is now essential for businesses and investors. The shift towards sustainable offices marks a significant change in market priorities towards environmental responsibility.”

This increasing focus on sustainability signals a crucial shift in the business landscape, highlighting the collaborative effort needed from companies, investors, and governments to create a greener future.


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