Discover Benelux, Issue 30, June 2016

Page 20

Building your dream home TEXT: FRANK VAN LIESHOUT | PHOTOS: B+

b+ is a family-run full service architectural, building and renovations firm operating in Belgium’s upmarket private residential sector. Working with an extensive team of architects, interior designers and building and construction specialists, the company can offer their customers a carefree building process, from application plan and first ideas through to the completion of their new dream home. “For more than 40 years, we’ve been helping our customers build their dream homes,” says commercial director Kristof Vandepoel. Kristof’s father Aimé Vandepoel, an engineer and architect by trade, started the company in 1973 to address a growing need for integrated architectural 20 | Issue 30 | June 2016

and building services in the private sector. The ‘b’ in the company’s name stands for Building, the ‘+’ expresses the added architectural and service value. “In those days, customers could either buy a turnkey house or hire an architectural firm and then take the designs to an independent builder,” Kristof explains. “There was very little in between.” According to Kristof, hiring an architect and subsequently having these plans carried out by a building company has a number of disadvantages. “Firstly, there are budget concerns,” he points out. “Often, the architect’s plans turn out to be a lot more expensive than envisaged. Secondly, builders, especially large developers active in volume house building, are often

not interested in discussing the finer points of architectural details. The client will have to put in a lot of time and effort to make sure everything is built and executed as originally planned and to the high standards desired. And thirdly, these days new energy solutions are so complicated that they need to be meticulously described in the architectural plans. There’s no more room for a bit of improvisation here.”

Total package With their creative, technical and building expertise, b+ can offer their customers a total package, guiding them from first ideas, sketches and plans through to planning permission, construction, detailing, energy layout, landscaping and interior design. “We have four architects