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Urban farm on the roof of the abattoir in 2016

 - ©Abattoir S.A.

2015-11-16 – An Aquaponic Greenhouse Farm System will be constructed on the 4000m² roof of Foodmet, the new food hall at the Abattoir site, in 2016.

BIG scrl and Abattoir sa have just signed an agreementto collaborate on this urban agriculture system, which will be the first on this scale in Europe. BIG will be the tenant of the roof space and will operate the Farm System with its productive gardens. The economic model is based on aquaponic technology, an integrated combination of fish farming (aquaculture) and the soil-free growing of fruits and vegetables, juvenile plants, mini-tubers and microgreens (hydroponics) along with more traditional vegetables in the gardens. There will also be an exclusive restaurant and garden terrace on the roof. Abattoir sa is accepting applications from interested operators.

Support from Europe

Foodmet was inaugurated on May 29th 2015, launching the first phase of the Abattoir 2030 Master Plan. The food hall’s creation was supported by the Municipality of Anderlecht, the Brussels-Capital Region and the European Union. It represents an investment of 18 million euros, including a 7.5 million euro grant from the ERDF. The rest of the funding was raised by Abattoir SA and its concession-holders.

BIG (Building Integrated Greenhouse) scrl, a Belgian company created by Lateral Thinking Factory Development, is a partnership between ECF from Germany (which operates two aquaponic urban farms of a similar size in Berlin and Bad Ragaz) and Tzervice from Switzerland (an expert in food and agricultural innovation), and was selected by Abattoir to develop and operate the Foodmet rooftop urban farm.

The project features 1800 m² of greenhouse space and the equivalent in productive gardens. It includes heat recovery from the refrigeration units, rain water harvesting, logistics-free mobility, production without pesticides and antibiotics, etc.

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