Reuse of building elements: - will it soon be the norm in Europe ?
Reuse of building elements, who to call on? part 1
Reuse of building elements, who to call on? part 2
French and Dutch versions available on our Youtube channel!
Today in NW-Europe, only 1% of building elements are reused following their first application. Although a large number of elements are technically reusable, they end up being recycled by crushing or melting, or disposed. The result is a high environmental impact and a net loss of economic value.
This project aims to increase by +50%, the amount of reclaimed building elements being circulated on its territory by 2032.
Focusing on the northern half of France, Belgium and the UK, the project also covers, with a lesser intensity, the Netherlands, Ireland, the rest of France and Luxembourg. This area houses thousands of SMEs specialised in the reclamation and supply of reusable building elements. Despite their obvious potential for the circular economy, these operators face significant challenges: visibility, access to important projects and integration in contemporary building practices. Today, the flow of recirculated goods stagnate and may even decrease due to a lack of structured efforts.
To respond appropriately to these challenges, the project sets up an international partnership involving specialised organisations, trade associations, research centres, an architecture school and public administrations. It is rooted in earlier initiatives that were successfully initiated, on a local level.
The project will deliver:
These tools will be tested and promoted through 36 pilot operations taking place in large (de)construction projects, whereby more than 360 tons of elements will be reused. Effective communication efforts towards the stakeholders of the construction industry (including public authorities) will facilitate a smooth integration of these outputs into field practices and policies.
Old Rectory Studio Ashford Road
34-42 Rue du Lombard
42-44 Rue du Lombard
4 avenue Jean Jaures
Champs sur Marne
86C/3000 Avenue du Port
Mithras House Lewes Road
60 Boulevard de la Villette
58 rue Prévinaire
58 rue Prévinaire
|Salvo Ltd||Thornton Kayfirstname.lastname@example.org||United Kingdom|
|Construction Confederation||Lara Pérez Duenasemail@example.com||Belgium|
|Belgian Building Research Institute||Jeroenfirstname.lastname@example.org||Belgium|
|Scientific and technical Center for Building||Sylvain Laurenceauemail@example.com||France|
|Brussels Environment||Corinne Bernairfirstname.lastname@example.org||Belgium|
|University of Brighton||Duncan Baker-Brown||D.Bakeremail@example.com||United Kingdom|
Where to find reclamation dealers?
Reclamation dealers in Belgium, France & the Nederlands + inspiring documentsGo to Opalis
Where to find reclamation dealers?
Reclamation dealers in the UKGo to Salvo Directory
Where to find reclamation dealers?
Instagram account with daily pictures of reclamation dealers across NW EuropeGo to Instagram account
An exhibition on the reuse of building materials is currently taking place at the ULB Museum of Architecture in Brussels!
Don’t miss the first workshop on the development of a roadmap to stimulate reuse practices in the construction sector!
This workshop is an opportunity to actively contribute to the development of a list of actions and recommendations to encourage reuse practices in the construction sector!
An exhibition on the reuse of building materials is currently taking place at the ULB Museum of Architecture in Brussels in Brussels !
An exhibition on the reuse of building materials is currently taking place at La Maison du Zéro Déchet in Paris !
From May 10th to 26th will take place the Depot Live Show(s), an online event dedicated to reclaimed materials businesses aiming to showcase their activity among professionals and stakeholders in the field of construction in NWE. Two conference times will introduce and conclude a two-weeks web flow of resellers portraits and interviews to bring to light project opportunities, linking supply and demand, to foster the circulation of reclaimed building materials, being one of the main FCRBE project objectives.
The FCRBE guides has been tackled during a Workshop organized by the Reuse Platform here in Brussels on the pre-demolition inventaries. The objectives of this event were to understand where the actors in the construction industry stand in the implementation of
inventories with the aim of reusing building materials in their projects and to understand the obstacles they've met during its realization. This discussion also took place in order to define the
place of this reuse-inventory in the framework of waste-related inventories.
The FCRBE manuals are not presented in details during this workshop. The organisers of this event assumed that the participants were professionals already familiar with these tools.
On 14 February, members of FCRBE project participated to the inspiration day of another Interreg NWE project, CHARM « Circular Housing Asset Renovation & Management ». Both projects have a very similar scope, although each with a different focus and a different target group.
During CHARM Inspiration Day at Kamp-C in Westerlo (Belgium), we had the opportunity of presenting FCRBE project : Emmanuel from Rotor briefly presented an overview of the project and Susie, also from Rotor, gave a short explanation of the upcoming « Guide to facilitate the integration of reclaimed building materials and products » during the workshop of the afternoon.
Find all the details of this meeting and all presentations on the following links :
In Life under a cherry tree, Rotor presents its cooperative design practice, while investigating the practicalities of the circular economy concept with particular regards to the building industry. The exhibition takes its title from a passage in Cradle to Cradle (2002), referring to a vision of an industry based on a system of “lifecycle development”. The aim is not only to document existing practices but also to imagine different circular economies that could come into existence.
Event organised by the Brussels Platform for Reuse in the Construction Sector.
Rotor was invited to take part in a panel discussion in a circular economy infrastructure event in Brighton on 11th June as part of the London Circular Economy Week to share its expertise of the reuse sector to present the FCRBE project.
Discover here a publication written by Rotor as part of the FCRBE project. This article presents a set of concrete situations and describes the framework in which reuse is currently practiced. It permits to demystify “the urban mine metaphor” : a short history of reuse in construction, the different challenges faced by the practice, success stories, locating reuse within the urban context, the scaling and logistics, and finally, an analyse that highlights the opportunities and the future of reuse. Find out more here! Read More
In a special feature on the emergence of reuse of building materials, the French magazine Le Moniteur, met Michaël Ghyoot, architect, project manager and cooperator at Rotor and partner involved in the Interreg FCRBE project. Find out what has been discussed here! Read More
An article on the FCRBE pilot project of the PEM (Pôle d'Echange Multimodal) in Quimper, Bretagne Occidentale is out! Read about Rotor's involvement in the organisation of reuse in this project. With the objectives of saving 1000 tonnes of materials and preserving resources, the project aims to be exemplary and Rotor assists in the design and in the draft for the contracts. Find out more about it, here! Read More
Extracting or integrating reused building materials into your project? Still not sure? Take inspiration from projects which have been carried out successfully and consult experts in the field. In this video, Salvo, one of the 8 partners of the Interreg FCRBE project, talks about reuse in the UK. Read More
Extracting or integrating reused building materials in your project? Yes, but not sure who to call on to provide you with reused materials or assist you with the deconstruction process? Find out more about the Belgian cooperative, Retrival, which offers its services in selective deconstruction and browse Opalis, a directory of material resellers! Like the exemplary projects illustrated in this video, make reuse an opportunity! Read More
The Mobile exhibition is now in Paris ! From the 25th of may until the 10th of June, it is happening La Maison du Zéro Déchet ! Read More
You all have been following the FCRBE project since 2018 ! You can read an overview of these different activities in this report as well as a foretaste of what is coming for 2021! Read More
Bellastock with the participation of Rotor and Salvo organises and hosts in Paris the DEPOT LIVE SHOW(S) from May 10th to 26th, an online event dedicated to reclaimed materials dealers of NWE. It will take place in three meeting times: an online opening conference, a two-weeks businesses portraits flow on social media, and an online closing roundtable. This event aims to gather and showcase reclaimed building elements dealers, and to bring a prospective look to Circular Economy in the field of construction in NWE. Read More
The University of Brighton’s School of Architecture and Design are hosting a digital Summer Scholl aimed at students from the worlds of design, architecture, construction and engineering, The Digital School of Re-construction (SoR-c) will demonstrate ways to re-use materials and elements from the built environment. Read More
At the end of 2020, "Un œil sur demain", a part of the RTBF's TV news, Belgium, is dedicated to the circularity in the construction sector and the reuse of building elements. You can find here, this piece of broadcast illustrated by the ZIN Project in Brussels and the ambitions of the Interreg FCRBE project ! Only in french. Read More
French and Dutch versions available on our Youtube channel!
Rotor is a research group, design studio and consultancy. It aims at making the reuse of components an accessible option for building professionals. Rotor created and manages Opalis.be, a local online directory of reuse operators. In 2015, the work of Rotor was awarded the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture under the patronage of UNESCO. Rotor recently launched the spin-off RotorDC, an innovative reclamation activity focussing on interior finishings from post-war buildings.
Bellastock is an experimental architecture organisation whose work focuses on the valorization of places and their material resources. Bellastock has experience with the reuse of building elements through demonstrative projects and national and European research programs. This has allowed them to provide technical assistance in more than 50 architectural projects.
BE is the public administration responsible for environment and energy in the Brussels Region. BE’s main mission is to survey the quality of air, water, soil, waste, noise and nature. BE is also responsible for defining strategic management plans for improving quality in above-mentioned fields and for launching awareness campaigns for citizens. Since 2008, BE has financed and coordinated the key projects that helped make Brussels a leader in the field of construction material reuse.
The University of Brighton (UoB) is a community of 21,000 students and 2,800 staff based on five campuses in the coastal cities/towns of Brighton. The UoB possesses a diverse and vibrant research community of over 400 research staff and 300 research students. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked us 27 out of 128 universities for our world-leading research impact.
For more than 25 years, Salvo has been a key organisation for the development of the reuse sector, primarily in the UK. Salvo carries out several activities including: networking information and advising on the trade of reclaimed construction elements (e.g. via SalvoWEB and architectural salvage fairs); providing consultancy to the construction sector and public authorities on reuse practices; conducting pre-demolition audits; assisting with materials procurement; surveying the sector.
The Construction Confederation is the main business organisation, social partner and representative body of the construction industry in Belgium. More than 15000 contractors have joined the Construction Confederation, from craftsmen to global players, carrying out all forms of building and civil engineering activities. The Confederation informs, supports, represents and promotes Belgian contractors at the local, national and international levels.
It has three regional entities for the three Belgian regions:
The statutory members of the BBRI include more than 90,000 Belgian construction companies, mostly SMEs. The BBRI’s primary business involves performing scientific and technical research for the benefit of its members; supplying technical information, assistance and advice to its members; contributing to the general innovation and development in the construction sector by performing research upon the request of the industry and the authorities.
CSTB is the French national organisation providing research and innovation, consultancy, testing, training and certification services in the construction industry. The mission of the CSTB is to ensure the quality and safety of buildings, and to support innovation. The CSTB focuses on four key activities: research and consulting, assessment, certification and dissemination of knowledge. Its field of expertise covers construction products, buildings, and their integration into cities.
Thank you to everyone who has made an application to the digital School School of Re-construction Summer School. We have had a great response and are looking forward to working with some great students.
The University of Brighton’s School of Architecture and Design are hosting a digital Summer School aimed at students from the worlds of design, architecture, construction and engineering. The digital School of Re-construction (SoR-c) will demonstrate ways to re-use materials and elements from the built environment.
Our team at the University of Brighton includes Anthony Roberts, Nick Gant, Dr Ryan Woodard, Siobhan O’Dowd and is led by senior lecturer and architect Duncan Baker-Brown best known for coordinating the building of the Brighton Waste House, “Europe’s first permanent building made of materials other people discarded”.
Public Events Registration are now open, 2-13 August 2021
While the applications for students has now closed , registration by the public to the Keynote Speaker, Lunchtime broadcasts and Panel discussions are now open. You can find here the Privacy Notice to the Public Events.
Details are provided here:
From left to right: Duncan Baker-Brown, Antony Roberts, Lucy-Ann Gilbert, Nick Gant, Dr. Ryan Woodard, Siobhan O'Dowd.
We will be joined (online) by partners from across North-West Europe*, including re-use experts Rotor from Belgium, and Bellastock from France, who are deconstructing the 59-storey Montparnasse Tower in Paris.
The School of Re-construction is part of an EU ERDF €4.33million Interreg NWE project entitled, ‘Facilitating the Circulation of Reclaimed Building Elements’ (FCRBE) which runs from 2019 to 2022. It will deliver, among others:
*North-West Europe includes Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Students from different regions will work in teams with designers and makers to re-think and re-use, through the re-construction of disassembled materials to create a series of thought-provoking digital design interventions, that will prove that “there’s no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place!”
Drawing on the partners and work of the Interreg FCRBE project the Summer School will include discussions and debates on topics relating to urban mining, resource mapping, deconstruction, re-use, and buildings as material banks.
Drawing from their immediate environment’s, each participant will survey a chosen artefact, room, or building with a view to digitally unpacking and deconstructing them. Each of the eight teams will create their own digital library; to be shared, interrogated, understood and re-imagined as a ‘new’ proposition.
Since the rise of modernity, design usually precedes construction. Consequently, designers generally develop their projects around standardized, stable and predictable construction products or they order specialised production of bespoke elements that will match their requirements. In essence, reclaimed products are the exact opposite of this: they are largely heterogeneous, unpredictable, and situated. In this sense, they question the habits of designers.
We will tackle this question by challenging each team to design and realise a small construction out of reclaimed elements in response to one of the workshop themes as detailed below.
These themes pose questions and provide a particular ‘lens’ for re-structuring elements that are usually discarded or re-worked. Each team will have an array of digitally reclaimed elements sourced from across the Interreg FCRBE region to choose and experiment with.
All these realisations are small living laboratories that will allow you to have direct experience with these challenges. The two-week-long workshop will culminate in a carefully curated online exhibition of these experimental design interventions.
The following themes should be read as specific ‘lenses’ through which participants will look at their particular ‘libraries of elements’. Please note that they might be slightly adapted depending on what will have been surveyed and collected by each of the teams taking part.
Theme 1 THE RAW:
The aim of re-use that will be explored, is how to effect a new condition by NOT altering, or ‘re-cooking’, the materials gained by reclamation. By working with the dismantled elements in their ‘raw’, or unaltered form – what are the possibilities of reconfiguring them into new, spatial and material combinations?
Theme 2 THE ‘USELESS’:
Materials deemed ‘useless’ are often cheap, can be found in abundance and as a result, are often discarded as not worthy of consideration. How can we make these rejected elements useful and desirable for construction?
Theme 3 THE BY-PRODUCT:
Materials that exist as a by-product of conventional modes of production can often be overlooked and ignored. How can they become one of the re-fashioned and delivered as a newly envisioned focus that supports the act of re-use?
Theme 4 THE HYBRID:
Systems and materials are often standardised and configured in conflicting or unaccommodating arrays of sizes and shapes, which generates more waste. How can they be combined to create new, workable relationships through the crude use of montage?
Theme 5 THE ‘OFF-CUT’:
The off-cut is notoriously known for being ‘not quite long enough’. By only utilising these awkward materials the question again arises, how can these usually discarded elements be re-examined and re-combined to form workable structures and envelopes that might not conform to the notion of the standard?
The Summer School will run between the 2 and 13 August 2021. The Summer School will be run as a digital online event. If you are selected you will be sent the registration details.
The deadline for registration is 31st May 2021. If you are selected we will send you a link to register your confirmation that you wish to enrol.
There is no cost for this digital event.
In addition to confirming your availability to attend all sessions you will also need to provide evidence that:
Once you have registered we will keep you informed about Summer School, and ensure access to the materials and online programme.
Yes, the Summer School will be conducted in English therefore applicants will need to be fluent in English to take part. We will assess your written application for proficiency in English.
For any other questions not covered here please contact us at School-of-Refirstname.lastname@example.org