Thomas & Piron creates Eklozio to expand its renovation business

TOWN PLANNING
Didier Van Den Eynde

To achieve carbon neutrality in Belgium's housing stock by 2050, we would need to renovate 160,000 homes per year*. Thomas & Piron, Wallonia's leading residential property developer and builder, has decided to position itself in the growing substantial renovation market. To become a key player in this market, primarily in Brussels, Wallonia and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Thomas & Piron group is restructuring and splitting its TP Rénovation subsidiary into two entities.

Launched 25 years ago, the group's renovation activities involved turnkeý-on-the-door renovations of individual houses. Six years ago, a department for the larger projects (more B2B-oriented) was created. This department, which carries out major public or private renovation projects, has now become the new TP Renovation entity. A company that will be close to TP Bâtiment, the Group's property development arm. To guaranty a coherent development strategy and maximise synergies between the two companies, they will be managed by Pascal Delahaut, Managing Director of both companies.

Thomas & Piron is creating a new brand Eklozio to target more and better renovation projects for individuals. Under this banner, renovations of single-family homes and small retail of spaces will be grouped together. Marc Tebaldi, Managing Director of Eklozio, explains: "Our aim is to offer our customers complete, including assistance with the administrative procedures involved in obtaining regional grants." Marc Tebaldi brings to the company 30 years' experience in the construction sector, both in renovations and new projects, on sites of all sizes. The entitý Eklozio currently occupied 22 employees and 73 workers.

In 2022, renovation activities accounted for less than 5% of the Group turnover. They have built 780 houses and 535 flats and executed only 95 turnkey renovation projects. The creation of these two new entities represents a strategic shift in the Group's organisation. "Renovation in the broadest sense, including energy-efficient renovation and building conversion, will be an increasingly important growth area in the years ahead" emphasises François Piron, Co-CEO of the Thomas & Piron Group.

Firstly, because most of the Belgium's building stock will have to be renovated to meet the targets and requirements of the European Green Deal on decarbonisation and the energy performance of buildings by 2050. These are depending fundamentally on the age and year of construction of the buildings. Of the 4.6 million buildings recorded in Belgium; in Flanders, 34% of buildings weré built after 1981, compared with 22% in Wallonia and just 7% in the Brussels-Capital Region!

Secondly, because in the future, building activity could decline in favour of renovation activities, with restrictive urban planning regulations such as the recent SDT in Wallonia (Schéma de Développement du Territoire), which aims to stop urban sprawl by refocusing on towns and densifying housing.

*According to a study by BNP Paribas Fortis.