NOA outdoor living: a unique total experience
The fact that Renson is throwing all its weight behind outdoor living shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the latter is completely ‘in’ at the moment. But as a trendsetter in outdoor living spaces, Renson is casting its gaze far beyond patio covers. After all, outdoor living is much more than simply a product group for this Belgian family business, which also specialises in sun protection and ventilation. Outdoor living is all about the total experience, and the new site reflects exactly that in all its aspects. The concept behind the monumental building itself – which was designed by Binst Architects – is that it should serve as an ‘XXL garden pavilion’ alongside the E17 motorway. The 380-metre-long façade is covered in natural elements, such as greenery and logs. And with NOA outdoor living, Renson is also the driving force behind an impressive inspiration park, at which it has joined forces with more than 30 other high-end outdoor living brands to create a 30,000 m² total experience.
“In NOA outdoor living, we’ve realised a unique concept that we’re extremely proud of”, the company’s CEO, Paul Renson, explains. “Visitors will get to explore 12 complete garden designs that offer a realistic picture of the endless possibilities in terms of outdoor living — and that’s all down to the fantastic cooperation between the participating brands. The result is a unique way to explore all aspects of outdoor living. After all, individuals, businesses and public authorities are all looking at the complete picture in outdoor living, and not just considering each product by itself.”
Future-proof Renson production site
With the opening of NOA outdoor living, the final phase of the new Renson site has now been completed. The production of patio covers and all associated accessories (including the parcel letter boxes by Renson’s subsidiary, eSafe) had been up and running at the site for a while. In 2021, these production lines were moved 10 kilometres down the road from Renson’s hometown of Waregem to this new habitat in Kruisem/Nazareth. The lines are controlled fully digitally, and their innovative nature is immediately evident in the daily production flows. “Standardised customisation is how we set ourselves apart”, Dieter Heyman (Renson Outdoor’s General Manager) explains. “Based on the requirements of their customers, it takes Renson distributors anywhere in the world just a single click of a mouse to submit a unique patio configuration for production at our factory.” “This production of custom products is digitally controlled from start to finish to ensure it takes place in the most standardised way possible. This is the only way in which we could make this investment in our home region. At the same time, we’re providing added value for the people employed here, as finding the right staff in this region isn’t entirely straightforward.”
From now on, all Renson outdoor products for global export will be manufactured at this new outdoor production site. This includes patio covers, carports and all associated accessories such as lighting, sliding panels, planters, benches and other design garden elements. The new production site can handle a capacity three times greater than what the old site in Waregem could produce in terms of outdoor living. Of course, there’s much more going on too behind this impressive 380-metre façade alongside the motorway. Aside from production, the site also houses a Renson test centre and training facilities, all designed by Embo Architects. Binst Architects, on the other hand, is the name behind the offices, NOA outdoor living experience centre and ‘landmark’.
Zero energy impact
From a technical perspective, too, the new site literally and figuratively ‘breathes’ nature. Behind the impressive façade, a zero energy impact project covering a total of 100,000 m² that is entirely self-sufficient in terms of water and energy consumption has been achieved, thanks to the latest technologies in healthy and comfortable living and working: ‘Creating healthy spaces’ comes to life.
No industrial wastewater is discharged into sewers or surface water from this production site. No less than 95% of the wastewater from the paint shop is recovered via an evaporator, so it can be used to rinse the profiles after pretreatment. The 6,700 solar panels on the roof help generate the energy required for the evaporator. Elsewhere, the negligible ecological footprint of this site is also down to the fact that the residual heat from the muffle oven (again, in the paint shop) is reused to heat the pretreatment water. That way, barely any gas is used to heat these basins. In turn, the intelligent ‘Aorta intermediate buffer storage’ guarantees colour optimisation in the paint shop. Fewer changes of colour not only results in a better yield, but also in reduced consumption for rinsing and powder-coating.
Outdoor living is on the rise
Renson has fully embodied its famous tagline of ‘Creating healthy spaces’ for 113 years now. It may have started out as a manufacturer of window and door hardware in 1909, but its slogan started to take shape in much more concrete form when it added ventilation and sun protection later on. The company’s innovative pursuit of smart, natural solutions for a healthy and comfortable indoor climate has always been the main driving force in everything it does. Today, in 2022, outdoor living has become one of the main cornerstones of the company, and Renson is gradually gaining a more solid foothold around the globe as a brand name. After all, outdoor living is ‘in’: people around the world want to get back to nature, and the boundaries between the indoors and the outdoors are continuing to disappear. As a result, comfortable outdoor living is on the agenda of customers around the world more than ever, and the need for extra production capacity and experience spaces started to grow. With its brand-new outdoor site, Renson has offered the perfect response to this market demand.
The Outdoor Experience Centre in figures
- 380-metre-long façade alongside the E17 motorway
- 10 ha (100,000 m²): total surface area of the Renson Outdoor site (Renson Outdoor + NOA outdoor living)
- 45,000 m²: footprint of the Renson Outdoor production site
- 65,000 m²: total surface area of the Renson Outdoor production site (across three floors)
- 2,500 m²: total surface area of the Renson Outdoor offices
- 2,000 m² of glass without sun protection coating guarantees maximum winter solar gain at the offices, combined with high-performance outdoor sun protection
- 30,000 m²: total surface area of the NOA outdoor living inspiration park (25,000 m² outdoors and 5,000 m² indoors)
- April 2019: work started
- October 2022: work completed
- 250: number of FTEs on site (100 clerical staff and 150 manual workers), including 150 new hires
- €75 million: total investment
- 1.7 million litres of rainwater can be captured and recovered underneath the production building (and in two additional rainwater reservoirs of 540,000 litres each underneath the NOA park), meaning mains water consumption is reduced to what’s strictly necessary only. In addition, all process water is locally treated and recovered
- 6,700 solar panels generate 2 MW of electricity, meaning the site barely takes any power from the grid
- Outdoor living capacity is three times higher than at the previous site in Waregem
- 95% of wastewater from the paint shop is recovered to rinse the profiles during pretreatment
- All heating and cooling at the site is handled by a BTES system consisting of 120 boreholes, each 100 metres deep. This BTES system is connected to a concrete core activation (CCA) ceiling, underfloor heating and air handling unit for the offices and indoor NOA space. Fan coil units are used to deal with brief periods of peak demand at the offices