KBC to build two new, state-of-the-art data centres in Mechelen and Heist-op-den-Berg

KBC to build two new, state-of-the-art data centres in Mechelen and Heist-op-den-Berg

The building plans are designed to maximise energy efficiency, minimise the environmental footprint of the centres and facilitate additional environmental measures.

KBC wants to continue offering its customers high-quality services and solutions in the future, which is why it applied in early February for an integrated environmental permit for two new, state-of-the-art data centres. One will be located in the car park of KBC Campus Mechelen and the other in the Liersesteenweg industrial park in Heist-op-den-Berg. ‚Äč The bank’s existing two data centres in Belgium are due for replacement within a few years.

Data centres play a key role in providing financial services to customers. They ensure the provision of cutting-edge digital services, securely store and transfer data, rapidly perform complex calculations and much more besides. As a result, data centres must comply with strict regulations laid down by the National Bank of Belgium and the European Central Bank.

The contemporary design of the centres has been developed by Arcadis Belgium NV alongside BAUT architects.

KBC plans to start using the new data centres from mid-2027. By the end of 2028, all equipment will be fully migrated and the two existing data centres will be decommissioned. KBC also wants the new data centres to be fully prepared for future developments in technology and IT.

KBC aims to achieve the lowest possible environmental footprint by:

  • using energy as efficiently as possible
  • cooling the technical installations with rainwater collected from the building (instead of mains water)
  • reusing residual heat to warm surrounding buildings (like the company's own office building on KBC Campus Mechelen)
  • installing a significant number of photovoltaic solar panels at each data centre
  • using building materials with a reduced carbon footprint (recycled steel, concrete with lower embodied carbon)
  • designing the buildings with an adaptable internal layout so that the space can be put to alternative uses in the distant future
  • pursuing a landscaping concept with minimal paving and special attention paid to biodiversity (the amount of tarmac and concrete at the current car park at the Mechelen site will be reduced and local water storage increased)
  • providing ample cycling and charging infrastructure
Wim Eraly, Senior General Manager of Commercial Banking & Facilities in the Belgium Business Unit explains: ‘Throughout our long history as a financial institution, we have made continuous efforts concerning sustainability. We are well aware of our responsibility to society, the environment and the economy as a whole. That’s why our sustainability principles are fully embedded in our business strategy, integrated into all our activities and ingrained in every part of the organisation. In addition, KBC partners with businesses of all sizes in the transition to a more sustainable society. We strive to find the right balance between business objectives and sustainability goals, and that also applies to the construction of our two new data centres.’
Isabel Van Mele, Chief Information Officer at KBC Group: ‘The migration of our core banking and insurance applications to these two data centres will obviously receive the full attention of our IT experts. They will ensure the migration to these new data centres goes smoothly and does not impact the service we provide our customers. KBC's hybrid cloud strategy cleverly leverages the strengths of both the ‘public cloud’ and the ‘on-premises private cloud’. As always, KBC pursues a progressive digital strategy, both in terms of customer experience and infrastructure. These new, highly energy-efficient data centres will prepare KBC for flexible capacity growth and allow us to seamlessly integrate new technologies and further strengthen our physical and digital security.’

 

 

Viviane Huybrecht General Manager KBC Corporate Communication / Spokesperson

 

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