19 July 2023

Brussels-North is changing : The transition to mixed-use urbanisation adapted to the age of teleworking

The metamorphosis of Brussels’ Northern Quarter is well underway, from a mono-functional office district to a vibrant mixed-use area.
Witness the opening of The Hoxton Hotel and ZIN’s exemplary conversion of the WTC1 & 2 towers into housing, hotels, offices and public spaces.
Public facilities and mobility (via metro 3) will support the transition and connection of the district, according to the convictions of Pascal Smet, Secretary of State for Town Planning.

The functional mix (not forgetting crafts and industry) illustrated by this zone is an urgent solution for the development of our metropolises.
The reincarnation of this “Little Manhattan” is a perfect illustration of the upheaval taking place in the workplace. The recent standardisation of hybrid working is supported by innovative solutions such as coworking spaces (Silversquare), conference venues (Comet Meetings) and other “Remote Workspaces” (Ooofer).

Teleworking is also one of these long-term solutions.
We are convinced that it needs to be supported by appropriate infrastructure in the home to ensure a good work-life balance. Setting up a home office with a physical boundary is not always possible. For house owners with a garden, garden offices offer this possibility as a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional extensions.

WOODCAB has positioned itself as a change maker, offering the first urban garden office solution in Belgium, designed to be sustainable, removable and top-of-the-range.

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18 July 2023

Create your own oasis of relaxation with the installation of a poolhouse at home

Do you dream of transforming your garden into a veritable haven where you can relax and enjoy the fine weather ? A poolhouse could be the solution, providing you with a multi-purpose space that will add an extra dimension of comfort to your garden, while still having your feet (almost) in the water.

One of the major advantages of a poolhouse is that you can have everything you need at your fingertips. Whether you want to change your clothes, take a shower after a refreshing swim, work from there, or simply relax without having to come home with wet feet.

A mix of uses

As you can see, there are plenty of design options : from a bathroom, to a changing room, an outdoor kitchenette, a barbecue area or even a relaxation area with comfortable sofas to enjoy long evenings with family and friends.

A style to suit your home

When installing a poolhouse, it is important to take into account the architectural style of your home and garden to create visual harmony. You can choose from a variety of materials, but wood remains the ideal option for blending in with the vegetation while ensuring a warm atmosphere and longevity.

Furnish as you wish

By customising it, perhaps with the addition of mood lighting or a sound system, it would seem that it is indispensable for long evenings.

A holiday feeling all year round

In summary, installing a poolhouse in your home will allow you to create a unique space for relaxation and leisure. Whether you are looking to enjoy a moment of calm and relaxation or host a drinks party at home, a poolhouse offers that little bit of holiday all year round and creates a unique little corner of relaxation.

With Woodcab, we will take care of everything to ensure you have a real piece of paradise in summer, spring, autumn or winter, customised and functional, deliverable in a day, without any heavy foundations, and all this just 2 steps from your home.

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01 June 2023

The ecological benefits of garden studios

At the heart of the eco-responsible trend, garden studios are much more than just an aesthetic addition to your outdoor space. They embody a true symbiosis between habitat and environment, combining comfort, functionality and respect for nature. Here are five ecological advantages of these innovative structures:

1. 100% wood design for a low carbon footprint

Wood is a renewable resource, and requires less energy to process than other building materials. What’s more, wood is biodegradable, making it an environmentally-friendly choice.

A modular and demountable design, thanks in particular to mechanical fixings, allows you to take a circular approach, both in terms of reusing materials and giving your garden studio a second life.

2. Reduces travel-related CO2 emissions

The trend towards hybrid working is becoming widespread in most occupations. By offering a space to work from home, garden studios reduce the need to travel, thereby cutting transport-related CO2 emissions.

3. Green roof for better insulation

A green roof increases the insulation of the garden studio, reducing the need for heating and air conditioning and cutting your energy consumption. It also preserves biodiversity by providing a habitat for insects and birds.

4. Harmonious integration into the environment

Thanks to their wooden structure, garden studios blend naturally into their environment, limiting visual impact and encouraging biodiversity.

What’s more, installing the foundation screws means you don’t have to pour a concrete slab, so you can keep the ground clean even the day you decide to move your garden studio.

5. Promotes well-being and beauty

The presence of wood, the view over the garden and the natural surroundings encourage well-being and concentration. As well as being environmentally friendly, these garden studios are aesthetically pleasing and require very little maintenance.

Choosing a wooden garden studio is an ecological, practical and aesthetic choice. It’s an ideal solution for a more sustainable way of life, and a perfect substitute for a traditional extension that’s much less environmentally friendly.

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How can you create your own workspace in your garden ?

Working from home can be a challenge, especially if you lack the space to create your own office. That’s where a garden office can be extremely useful.

It’s a place where you can retreat to work, create or simply relax and breathe. Here are some of our tips and tricks for creating your own workspace in your garden :

Plan your space

Before you start building or buying a garden office, think about the ideal location in your garden. Also think about the size of the garden office you want, as well as the features you want to include, such as windows or a sliding door.

*At Woodcab, we will work with you right through to the positioning of the openings so that they fit in with your everyday life.

Opt for a natural design

The purpose of a garden office is to allow you to work in a natural setting. Try to choose a design that blends in with your natural surroundings and uses natural materials, such as wood.

Invest in functional, comfortable furniture

Make sure you choose comfortable furniture that will suit your professional needs. Take into account the level of storage you need (lots or few shelves? enclosed storage?). The ideal solution is to opt for a modular system, which will allow you to vary the location of the storage according to your needs.

Acoustic comfort for concentration

It is essential to create your own bubble so that you can stay focused throughout the day: whether it’s for a brainstorm, a video conference, a business meeting with one of your clients/patients, etc.

Adding decorative elements

To make your workspace more pleasant, add decorative elements that reflect your personality. Add plants, pictures or photos that inspire you.

Make sure your workspace is well-lit

The choice of lighting is crucial to creating a comfortable and productive working environment. Make sure you have enough natural light depending on the orientation of your garden, and invest in a quality light fitting to illuminate your workspace at all times.

Create a relaxing atmosphere

Your garden office should be a place where you can relax and recharge your batteries when you’re not working. Add comfortable cushions, a rug or even a sound system to create a relaxing atmosphere.

By following these tips and tricks, you can create your own workspace in your garden. Take advantage of the natural environment to work, create or simply relax and breathe.

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Can I place a garden studio in my garden ? What rules apply ?

In many cases, people dream of building a garden shed but are unclear about the planning regulations that need to be complied with. There are a number of obligations that fall under regional jurisdiction.

In all cases, we recommend that you call your local authority before embarking on a garden extension project, as local planning regulations may be more restrictive than regional regulations (especially in urban areas or those with protected heritage).

The shelter must always be located in a courtyard or garden area, at the back of the house, not visible from the street.

Here is an overview of the regulations in force in the three Belgian regions: Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region.

Make your dream come true in Flanders

If you live in Flanders, we’ve got some great news for you! You don’t need planning permission to install a Woodcab garden studio if the structure does not exceed 40 square metres and is set up at least 3 metres from the side boundary of the plot. Flemish regulations specify that you are entitled to have several garden annexes (including sheds and greenhouses) provided that the sum of their surface areas does not exceed 40m2. In some communes, you will be asked to make an online notification specifying the nature of your request, for which you will receive a notice within 30 days.

Take advantage of extra space in Wallonia

In Wallonia, the CODT (Territorial Development Code) has been relaxed in recent years. You won’t need planning permission for a garden studio measuring less than 20 square metres, as long as it’s set back at least 1 metre from any adjoining boundary and the height of the cornice is less than 2.5 metres. Another step towards your own peaceful oasis.

Your urban refuge in the Brussels-Capital Region

Even in the Brussels-Capital Region, no planning permission is required for a garden studio measuring less than 9 square metres. The regulations require you to maintain a certain distance from the boundary of your property. This distance can be reduced with your neighbour’s consent or subject to certain conditions. This way, your quiet space doesn’t disrupt the harmony of your neighbourhood.

“Does appearance and design matter?”

For all 3 regions, the materials used for the facades must be similar to those used for the house or be made of wood.

At Woodcab, we offer buildings that have been designed to comply with regulations, with surfaces to suit all requirements, as well as suitable heights and materials. We strive to make your garden studio installation experience as simple as possible. We’re here to guide you every step of the way, and to help you understand regional and local specificities.

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Why separating work and private life can have a real impact on your life balance ?

Working from home can be a challenge, especially if you lack the space to create your own office. That is where a garden office can be extremely useful.

Here are some of the advantages of this separation :

Creating a mental division

Working from home can make it difficult to mentally separate work and private life. By creating a physical distance, you can put yourself in a frame of mind that allows you to focus on work during working hours and concentrate on family life outside working hours.

Avoid distractions

By having a dedicated workspace, you can avoid the distractions of family life. Children can play and other family members can go about their business without interrupting your work.

Creating a professional working atmosphere

A dedicated workspace can help create a professional working atmosphere. It can help you focus on your work and be more productive.

Improving your family life

By keeping a distance between your work and your family life, you can devote yourself fully to your family life outside working hours. This can help you improve your relationship with your family and spend more quality time with them.

Taking care of your mental well-being

Working from home can be stressful, especially if you find it difficult to separate your work from your family life. By creating a distance between your work and your family life, you can look after your mental well-being and avoid unnecessary stress.

In summary, it is important to have distance between your work and your family life so that you can enjoy the benefits of each aspect of your life. By creating a workspace dedicated to the garden, you can significantly improve your productivity, your mental well-being and your family life.