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 Kayemail@example.com||United Kingdom|
|Construction Confederation||Lara Pérez Duenasfirstname.lastname@example.org||Belgium|
|Belgian Building Research Institute||Jeroenemail@example.com||Belgium|
|Scientific and technical Center for Building||Sylvain Laurenceaufirstname.lastname@example.org||France|
|Brussels Environment||Corinne Bernairemail@example.com||Belgium|
|University of Brighton||Duncan Baker-Brown||D.Bakerfirstname.lastname@example.org||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
On the 24th of April 2019, Rotor organised a seminar with several, mostly Flemish dealers in reclaimed materials. It was the very first time that such a seminar was held in Belgium.
The Interreg NWE project CHARM “Circular Housing Asset Renovation & Management” had its kick-off meeting on 11-12 february in the city of Eindhoven. As associate partners of CHARM, FCRBE representatives attended their “Inspiration meeting”, the open part of the kick-off meeting.
Kick-off meeting and action plan development
Find here an article written by Adeline Van Hoof based on a documentary work carried out as part of the activities of Rotor within the Interreg NWE FCRBE project. Read More
During a Webinar organised by the Walloon Region, Belgium, Rotor presented the FCRBE Guide on how to integrate reuse products in large scale projects. This webinar took place in november 2020 as part of the learning network of the Walloon Circular Green Deal. You can find the video here. Read More
The FCRBE project was recently mentioned during an interview with Rotor and La Fabrique des Quartiers in Lille, France. Find the interview here ! Read More
You can download the manual here in French and Dutch. Read More
The FCRBE project was recently mentioned in three articles alongside several of its partners. Let's find out what they're all about ! Read More
The FCRBE project has published its latest tool to promote the reuse of building materials. Share this video around you and encourage the spread of reuse of building materials ! Read More
Salvo has released its latest Newsletter with a very good report of their activities in FCRBE project for the last six months. Read More
This interesting article published on 9 February by Salvo mentions the works carried out by FCRBE project and quotes the recent articles issued in UK media on the importance of circular architecture. Read More
An Instagram account to enhance the visibility of construction materials resellers Read More
FCRBE has published its "guide for facilitating the integration of reclaimed building materials in large-scale projects and public tenders". 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-Reemail@example.com