NIKE Wings Factory

A state-of-the-art, sustainable distribution center

Our client’s challenge

NIKE, needed a new, state of the art distribution center in Belgium to serve customers in continental Europe and the rest of the world. The building needed to include an automated warehouse, shipping & handling zones and office space. When these types of facilities and workspaces are not well designed, constructing and operating them can degrade the local and global environment and have unintended negative impacts on workers’ well-being. So, NIKE asked us to design this facility to meet their business goals and sustainability ambitions.

The solution

Our experts worked closely with NIKE to understand its most important sustainability concerns. There were three key themes to the design: the use of renewable energy sources, making the use of energy and resources circular, and creating a work environment that promotes health and biodiversity. We carried out numerous electrical, structural, environmental, infrastructure, mechanical and plumbing engineering studies to create the final design. We also provided Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) consulting, sustainability and energy consulting and project management support for the 150,000 square meter facility.

The impact

Working in conjunction with Jaspers-Evers Architects and design bureau Pauwels BVBA, our design contributed to the creation of a state-of-the-art, sustainable distribution center. Over 95% of the shipping containers from the NIKE Wings factory are transported via the Albert Canal, saving 14,000 trips by trucks over the road network per year. The building uses 100% renewable electricity and the climate-control system is mainly powered by geothermal energy. Electricity consumption and environmental impacts have been drastically reduced by incorporating many windows and automated LED lighting into the design. This has also helped create a very pleasant workspace for NIKE employees. The build also sports a large green façade with 1.3 kilometers of vegetation, which repels the sun, contains emergency exits, and improves the building’s appearance. Finally, NIKE also carried out Arcadis’ recommendations on the natural environment around the distribution center. Sheep have been brought in to graze and maintain the landscape. Also, beehives have been placed on-site, contributing to biodiversity, as the bees pollinate flowers both on the factory grounds and in the surrounding area.

Improving quality of life

The design of the NIKE Wings factory has improved quality of life by helping our client cut down on carbon emissions, reducing the need for trucks and slashing electricity consumption. And the building’s green façade, coupled with the introduction of wildlife to the environment around the factory, has increased biodiversity. More than 3000 employees work on NIKE’s Belgium campus.

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Niels van Geenhuizen

Global Sustainable Solutions Leader +31 (0)6 2706 1819 Ask me a question