Bio-Planet Leuven: Belgium's first low-energy store

Bio-Planet plays a pioneering role in eco-conscious shopping. Not surprisingly, the first low-energy Colruyt Group store, also the first in Belgium, is a Bio-Planet shop. In 2010, Bio-Planet opened its doors in Leuven.

Since then, we have been applying the know-how we have gained on innovative construction techniques in other stores, too.

Stefaan Verhamme, then Expansion Manager at Colruyt Group Real Estate, zooms in on the complex project.

  • First low-energy store in Belgium
  • Productive cooperation with the city and neighbours


  • wood frame construction,
  • green roof, 
  • solar panels, 
  • skylights, 
  • energy-efficient lighting, 
  • cooling with higher efficiency,
  • energy-efficient heating

In figures


We made this pioneering project a reality thanks to the close cooperation - from design to realisation - between Colruyt Group's Technics and Real Estate departments.

David Coulembier | Project Manager

If you seek, you shall find

The city of Leuven has many fans of organic food and ecological products. Therefore, it cannot be missing from the list of cities with a Bio-Planet store.

After years of searching in densely built-up Leuven, we found a suitable location on the edge of town. A cultural centre next to the sports hall in Korbeek-Lo was vacant. We purchased this site at a public auction organised by the city of Leuven.

Good Neighbours

By consulting well with the city and the neighbours, we took specific wishes or needs into account during construction.

For example, we provided the entrance and exit to the store on the main road instead of in a smaller side street. We finished the side of the adjacent municipal sports hall of Korbeek-Lo and we improved the emergency exit of the sports hall, among other things.

Design for low energy requirements

In line with Colruyt Group's sustainability policy, we build stores with low energy requirements. To achieve this goal, we take into account both the infrastructure and the daily operation of the store.

From the first design, we obviously studied which materials and techniques to use in terms of energy reduction. Wherever possible, we also gave the building the orientation that produced the best energy performance. And that was the case here in Leuven.

We are constructing the building in wood frame construction. This is a very fire-safe construction method. For the insulation we use rock wool, which is also a natural and fireproof product.

The green roof above the warehouse provides additional insulation. This way, the store loses less heat in the winter and stays cooler in the summer.


The process

2000: Start of the search for suitable Leuven location

2006: Signing of the deed of public sale

2008: Purchase of adjacent properties

2010: Store opening