Creative Cooling takes up residence in The Cool Factory
A brand-new corporate headquarters and a creative meeting, learning, and testing environment for cool experts, business partners, suppliers, customers, and supporters.
Antwerp, Belgium, 2021
Leading by example. There is no better way to describe the 6 million investment project of Creative Cooling Group. Creative Cooling is the parent company of wholesaler AFM Refrigeration, Airco Sinclair, and DRU International. Three organisations active in the refrigeration industry but each with its specific character and expertise.
“The Cool Factory is the product of +30 years of specialisation & hard work and symbolises what our organisation stands for. A multi-talented, adventurous team of cool experts that dares to look at the future with a great deal of enthusiasm, work ethic, and creative ideas,” says Sven Danneels, CEO of Creative Cooling Group.
“Because our current building was becoming too small, but above all no longer matched our vision of the innovative, creative and environmentally-conscious business, we started looking for a new home base.” That home base was named The Cool Factory, a 12,000m² multifunctional site rebuilt from a former British army depot. Today, it accommodates a production area, multiple warehouses, a pick-up counter, an office building, a fully equipped test lab and, a large experience & training center.
As of May 4th, The Cool Factory will be home to various teams and activities, such as those of DRU International. In the impressive production hall, DRU produces creative cooling solutions – ranging from plug & play display coolers to fully customised cooling units, which are distributed to customers all over the world.
The office building unites the various services of Creative Cooling Group, including offices, a product development laboratory, and various creative meeting rooms such as “the Think Tank”, “the Sauna” and “the Ice Cave”.
The main objective of investing 6 million euros in this project is to create a modern workplace. A place where, thanks to huge areas of glass, the thinkers are constantly in contact with the doers, which not only strengthens the work ethic but also the atmosphere of the entire team.
Contribute to the environment
As a European supplier of cooling furniture, Creative Cooling Group takes up the European Green
Deal challenge to support the European Union become the first climate-neutral continent in 2050. “We are convinced that sustainable and innovative business is the only way forward for our organisation, our people, our customers, and our suppliers, Sven Danneels continues. We are a partner who actively invests in exceeding the legal obligations because we want to proactively contribute to the environment.”
In 2020, a year that was anything but easy for well-known reasons, Creative Cooling Group heavily invested in a lean and energy-efficient production process to offer products that are built most sustainably. The Cool Factory became a state-of-the-art production site that not only looks good but meets the latest standards with maximum attention to efficiency and the environment.
“We have consciously chosen to restore and recycle an old building instead of tearing it down to start all over again, Sven Danneels says. The Cool Factory runs on clean energy coming from natural energy sources, also the rainwater is harvested for use.“
Working in comfortable conditions also means that there is a need for both heating and air conditioning. By consciously opting for underfloor heating with an air to water heat pump, the company achieves a CO2 saving of 33.7 tonnes. A saving of more than 53% compared to heating with gas.
Moreover, good insulation and strategically placed north-facing windows allow the company to make the most use of natural light, to minimise heat from outside. Next to that, new machinery and new production techniques result in more efficient working processes with shorter lead times and fewer resources and waste.
The factory is located in Antwerp East, near the port of Antwerp on a strategically chosen spot with proximity to air and seaports to limit road transport.
A full-edge partner
The company is fully committed to digitalisation. In addition to the production of display coolers, Creative Cooling Group is actively developing digital tools to track, monitor, and manage second placement activities.
“We continue to focus on our full-service offering,” says Sven Danneels. “We started +30 years ago as a producer of cooling furniture, but today we can go full service. We are a full-edged partner, offering a wide range of solutions, including advice, design, activation, refurbishments, and solutions for recycling.” In addition to selling, the group also offers rental services for temporary and/or permanent second placement activities and tactical integrations in new and existing store concepts.
Work in progress. Work on progress.
“The new corporate headquarters is a very important building block for the group’s future.”, stresses Sven Danneels, “but it will only be one of many stepping stones to further, sustainable growth. We will go on building, and keep looking for new acquisitions or partners we can cooperate with to integrate them into our group and expand our international ambitions. We want to be a global quality brand that invites like-minded parties to be part of the group and exchange expertise in close relation with the customer.”
“Consider our new site as one big creative meeting, learning and testing environment where it is pleasant to be for everyone, concludes Sven Danneels. “A place where climate solutions come to life, with the focus on innovation, sustainability, and energy efficiency. We invite everyone with a heart for cooling to visit our Cool Factory, including their customers. And it must be said: it goes without saying that we organise this in a safe way that is corona-proof.”