FCRBE - Facilitating the circulation of reclaimed building elements in Northwestern Europe

Project Summary

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.

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Rotor 58 rue Prévinaire
michaelghyoot@rotordb.org www.rotordb.org
Name Contact Name Email Country
Salvo Ltd Thornton Kay thornton.kay@salvo.co.uk United Kingdom
Embuild Lara Pérez Duenas lara.perezduenas@embuild.be Belgium
Buildwise Jeroen Vrijders jeroen.vrijders@buildwise.be Belgium
Scientific and technical Center for Building Sylvain Laurenceau sylvain.laurenceau@cstb.fr France
Brussels Environment Corinne Bernair cbernair@environnement.brussels Belgium
University of Brighton Duncan Baker-Brown D.Baker-brown@brighton.ac.uk United Kingdom
Bellastock Hugo Topalov hugo.topalov@bellastock.com France
City of Utrecht Merel Limbeek merel.limbeek@utrecht.nl Netherlands
Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology Bruno Domange bruno.domange@list.lu Luxembourg
Delft University of Technology Ad Straub a.straub@tudelft.nl Netherlands


2020/10/01: Workshop in Brussels on the pre-demolition audit

Posted on

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. Read More

New deliverable! How to conduct a reclamation audit.

Posted on

FCRBE Project has published a new deliverable that offers guidelines on conducting a reclamation audit. A reclamation audit is an operation carried out in buildings scheduled for partial or total demolition. It aims at identifying the building materials and products presenting a high reuse potential. This audit results in a ‘reclamation inventory’, listing the identified reusable building elements. The resulting inventories present information on the materials' and products' characteristics such as dimensions, quantities, conditions, environmental impact, technical characteristics, disassembly recommendations, etc. This manual presents a method on how to conduct these audits. Read More

Application for Summer School is open!

Posted on

The University of Brighton’s School of Architecture and Design will be hosting a five-day International Summer School from 17-21 August 2020. Aimed at students from the worlds of design, architecture, construction and engineering, the School of Re-construction (Sor-c) will demonstrate ways to re-use materials from local construction sites. Read More

New deliverable! The review of pre-demolition tools and resources has been published

Posted on

FCRBE has published the report "Review of existing pre-demolition tools, policies, resources for identifying, quantifying and organizing the reclamation of reusable elements.“ The report collects examples and illustrations coming from different professional practices in which the assessment of the reuse potential in existing buildings plays an important role or is supported. Read More

Reuse toolkit

Contracting authorities, building developers, architects and other building professionals will find here a series of tools and methods to implement reuse actions in their projects:

Reclamation audit method

How to identify reusable materials in a building scheduled for demolition. Version: December 2022. Available in EN, FR and NL. Targets: building developers, contracting authorities, architects, contractors, etc.

Go to the download page

Guidebook on procurement strategies

How to integrate reuse ambitions in the tendering procedures of construction and renovation projects (including for public tenders). Version: February 2022. Available in FR, NL and EN. Targets: building developers, contracting authorities.

Go to the download page

Collection of material sheets

36 sheets covering a wide range of materials: how to reclaim and reuse them, what are their known characteristics, how available are they on the market, what are their environmental benefits... Version: December 2021. Available in FR, NL and EN. Targets: specifiers, architects, contractors...

Go to the download page

Practical guides for contractors

Six guides on reuse for specialised trades: general contractors, finishing companies, woodworkers, roofers, demolishers and infrastructure contractors. Version : September 2023. Available in FR, NL, EN.

Go to the download page

Reuse objectives method

Method to set, measure and report on reuse objectives in tenders, project implementation and public policies. Available in EN, FR. Targets: building developers, contracting authorities and policy makers.

Go to the download page

Insurance for reused building materials: good practices

A selection of 11 case studies which successfully dealt with insurance issues for reused building materials. A synthesis suggests guidelines for best practices. Version: September 2023. Available in EN (soon), FR. Targets: Building developers, contracting authorities, architects, contractors, insurers, etc.

Go to download page

Final activity report

To get an overview of all the work carried out over the 5 years of the project, to understand how an international partnership around reuse was set up and to discover the stakeholders involved.



Finding professional reclamation and salvage dealers in North West Europe

The FCRBE project has documented more than 1.000 companies, mostly SMEs, dealing in reclaimed and salvaged building materials. The results are available on two online directories:

Reclamation and salvage dealers in the United Kingdom and Ireland


Reclamation and salvage dealers in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.


Follow the visits to dealers on our Instagram account!

@1500 Reuse


Resources for reuse

Reusing building materials may raise a series of questions. To tackle them, the FCRBE project has developed a series of resources:

Futureuse booklets

7 shorts introduction to the world of reuse. These booklets cover the following topics: environmental impact, technical performances, material surface treatments, the product or waste issue, roadmap for public policies, urban stocks, fashion for reclamation. Version : November 2021. Available in FR, EN and NL.

Go to the download page

Yours Truly Reclaimed - The new label for authentic reclaimed products

The new Truly Reclaimed label verifies that a product or batch of material is genuinely reclaimed. The campaign helps customers distinguish Truly Reclaimed from new products that are made to resemble the old. Discover trulyreclaimed.org and the futuREuse community to support your journey in using the label.


A roadmap to foster reuse practices in the construction sector

A collection of inspiring actions for public authorities and policy makers who wish to encourage the reuse of building materials in their area. Languages: EN, FR, NL.

Download the Roadmap

A statistical survey of the reclamation trade in Ireland, the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands

Profiles, socio-economic impact and quantity of materials stocholded by professional reclamation and salvage dealers in the project area. Forthcoming...

Download Report

Methodology for measuring and extrapolating reclamation stockholdings

This document sets out ways in which the environmental benefit of reclaimed building material can be assessed and measured by extrapolation from known data. It complements the statistical survey of the reclamation trade carried out during the project.

Download the methodology

Reuse in Green Building Frameworks

To demonstrate their commitment towards sustainable building, developers can use different labels, certifications and guidelines. How do these frameworks reward reuse strategies? What are the best practices in this context? Version: November 2021. Available in EN.

Download report

Review of existing pre-demolition tools, policies and resources

A state of the art of the recent developments in policies, tools and literature regarding the best practices for conducting pre-demolition audits and managing reusable resources. Version: September 2019. Available in EN.

Download report

Yours Truly Reclaimed - The report

A global report on the design, launch, implementation and long-term perspectives of the Truly Reclaimed labelling scheme. Discover trulyreclaimed.org and the futuREuse community to support your journey in using the label.

Download the report

Reuse in Environmental Impact Assessment tools

Designers are increasingly required to use modelling tools to assess the environmental impact of their projects. How do these tools integrate reuse? What are the best practices in this context? Version: November 2021. Available in EN.

Download report

Training program to conduct reclamation audits

A training program for construction professionals. Available in NL

Go to the download page

Feedback from the field

Findings from 36 pilot operations carried out as part of the project. Version : November 2021. Available in EN. Targets: building developers, contracting authorities, architects, contractors...

Go to the pilots page

Digital Tools for Reuse

Contracting authorities, building developers, architects and other building professionals are developping different digital tools to help and foster reuse practicies.

Digital Tools Report

How digital tools could facilitate the task of auditing buildings for assessing the reuse potential of their components (reality capture, scanning technologies, artificial intelligence, BIM...).



4 articles that summarize the report on digital tools that foster the reuse of construction materials in the building sector.

Read the articles

Digital Deconstruction

The project aims to develop an innovative digital decision support system, integrating various digital tools that helps to define the most sustainable and economical deconstruction and reuse strategy for building.

Go to the Website


Videos to raise awareness on reuse

A collection of three videos to promote reuse in the construction industry:

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



Versions in FR and NL and with different subtitles options are available on our Youtube channel.


Depot Live Show(s) (May 2021)

A two-week-long online event aimed at gathering together reclaimed materials dealers and other project stakeholders such as contractors, building owners, architects, in order to focus and exchange on the challenges of reuse in the construction sector. The recordings of the sessions (in French) are available on the link below.

Recordings of the sessions

Digital School of Re-construction (SoR-c) (August 2021)

A ten-day international digital summer school hosted by the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Brighton.

Description of completed programme

FCRBE Final event (November 2021)

A 2-days event to present the results of the project (2018-2021). The event took place in Brussels and was broadcasted online. All presentations can be found in the link below.

Final event presentations

Mobile exhibition (ongoing)

The mobile exhibition sheds light on the reclamation industry in NWE. Through reclaimed materials samples, videos of inspiring projects, pictures and interactive hands-on, it fosters the adoption of reuse practices in the construction sector.

The mobile exhibition has been showcased at different events:

  • Lioncity, Brussels, Belgium, as part of the Annual event of the Brussels Reuse Platform (Nov 2023)
  • Urban Insight Lab Brussels, Belgium (Sept-Oct 2023)
  • Maison du Design, Mons, Belgium (Feb 2023)
  • Petite Maison, Luxembourg (Dec 2022-Feb 2023)
  • Architecture festival, Warsaw, Poland (August 2022)
  • Institute of Design in Kielce, Poland (May-June 2022)
  • Construcity.brussels, (Nov-Dec 2021)
  • Brussels-Environment, for the FCRBE final event (Nov. 2021)
  • Entrance hall of the Faculty of architecture of the UCL-LOCI, Brussels (Oct. 2021)
  • Library of the Faculty of Architecture of the ULB, Brussels (June 2021)
  • Maison du Zéro Déchet, Paris (May 2021)
  • Waste Build Online (Jan 2021)

The exhibition is available for touring. Its design makes it easily adaptable to different locations and configurations.

Contact us for booking: delhie.morbee@embuild.be

During the project, 37 pilot operations have been carried out by the project partners. Each operation was taking place in an ongoing building project. They aimed at fostering the reclamation and/or reuse of batches of building materials.

These operations were also a way to support external organisations to adopt reuse habits and get acquainted with the project’s newly-developed tools and methods. In total, these operations made it possible to reclaim 140 tonnes of building materials for future reuse, and to reuse 186 tonnes in construction and renovation projects all over North West Europe.

Two types of pilot operations have been carried out:

  • extraction: reclaiming batches of reusable building elements from buildings scheduled for demolition.
  • integration: enabling the reuse of building materials at different phases of ongoing construction and renovation projects (brief, design, tendering process, execution of the works...).

This page offers an overview of all the pilot operations (it can also be downloaded in pdf here: Download full report (10MB). For each of them, a detailed report is also available.


Petite Île / City Gate, Brussels (extraction)

A decommissioned industrial site to be reanimated into a lively neighbourhood


This site, formerly dedicated to various industrial activities, will be brought back to life to host a neighbourhood with a high social and programmatic diversity. The site developers have a high target regarding circular economy issues and aim at using as much materials from the former buildings to be demolished into the new ones.


How to take into account the site history wherein seemingly homogenous buildings were actually built and modified at different periods with different materials ? How to ensure that the inventory reflects this reality in order to estimate the actual quantity of materials that can be reused ? How to implement this issue into the deconstruction process ?

BRUSSELS - BE - 2021 – Public procurement - Project Size : XL

Interreg FCRBE partner : CCBC

Project Owner : SLRB

Project Manager : noAarchitecten

Download report in FR

​Download frontpage in EN

Belgrade, Brussels (extraction)

A tram workshop as a basis to develop a company-wide practice


This former tram workshop, owned by the Brussels public transports company STIB, is to be refurbished  for mixed purposes, with mainly technical, sanitary and heating equipment to be evacuated. The loose schedule with works starting in 2024 enables to explore various potential  solutions for the reuse of these materials and to take the time to learn from the experience to replicate the process on future works on other sites.


Is there a potential for internal reuse for the specific technical equipment ?  How to find potential buyers or recipients for the equipment which cannot be reused internally ? How to transform the knowledge and experience from a pilot operation into a company-wide practice applied on all refurbishment projects ?

BRUSSELS - BE - 2021 – Public procurement 
Project Size : L

Interreg FCRBE partner : CCBC- BBRI 

Project Owner : STIB

​Download frontpage in EN

Download report in FR

Greenbizz II, Brussels (integration)

Encourage diversity

Citydev's Design & Build procurement for the development of GREENBIZZ II. The goal is to encourage bidders to take the initiative, integrating reclaimed building materials in the project beyond a pre-determined minimum.

mplementation of the strategy to include minimum reuse requirements in the call for tenders and awarding extra points for tenders that exceed this minimum, while making use of targeted (specific) objectives within the context of a Design & Build contract. 

Project Size : +- 4500 M2
Type of procurement : Public
Interreg FCRBE partner : Bruxelles Environnement with support of BBRI
Project Manager : Citydev

Photos: Opalis

Download report in FR

Download frontpage in EN

KeyWest, Brussels (extraction)

Learning through comparison


This industrial warehouse is to be deconstructed with the intent to have as much construction materials circulated as possible. An inventory was already established by a reuse operator. The double goal for this pilot was to compare the results from the operator with an inventory performed with the FCRBE, and to have the project owner experiment the method for future use on other sites. 


How to make the FCRBE methodology relevant compared with the practical way of working from an experienced operator ? What are the opportunities when the project owner and the project contractor are both subsidiaries from the same group ?

BRUSSELS - BE - 2021 - Private procurement 
Project Size : M

Interreg FCRBE partner : CCBC - BBRI 

Project Owner : BPI

Reuse operator : Batiterre

Download report in FR​

Download frontpage in EN


Pavillon, Brussels (integration)

 Describing an unknown batch in a work contract


Joint work contract between Brussels Environment and the municipality of Koekelberg for the renovation and extension of an existing pavilion.  The goal is to integrate one or more batches of reclaimed construction products in the work contract. 


Implementation of the strategy of adapting a standard technical clause to the particularities of reuse for a construction product replicable in Brussels Environment’s future developments. Implementation for a batch of interior design materials. 

Materials involved

Reclaimed tiles for floor covering.


BRUSSELS - BE – 2021(22) - Public procurement​

Project size : +/- 300 m²​

Interreg FCRBE partner: Brussels Environment with the support of  BBRI

Project developer: Brussels Environment and Municipality of Koekelberg

Architect: V+  

Picture credits: V+

Download report in FR

Download frontpage in EN

Cimenterie Delwart, Tournai (extraction)

Contributing to heritage conservation in new housing

In the context of the construction of modern and comfortable flats on a century-old industrial site (Delwartcement plant), analysis of the possible reuse of materials existing on site, in particular bricks and natural stone elements. Carrying out an inventory and making integration proposals.


To identify and integrate reuse elements in a large-scale real estate project, led by a "Bouwteam" bringing together the promoter, the project designers and the demolition and construction companies. Quickly identify reusable brick batches in a building that has undergone numerous transformations and adaptations over the last century, with variations in materials and methods used.

TOURNAI – BE – 2021 – Private
Project size : L
Interreg FCRBE partner: Confédération Construction withsupport of BBR
Associate partner: BAM GALERE
Project owner: DukaImmo
Architect : Atelier d'architecture Meunier-Westrade srl

Download frontpage in EN

Download report in FR

Football stadium, Charleroi (extraction)

reuse inventory to support its ultimate transformation


Reuse scenarios of elements from a football stadium that has existed for more than 80 years and is part of the cultural and social heritage of the city. A new stadium will be built out of town in order to meet new standards and minimise disturbanceThe current stadium has been extended and converted many times and is made up of a large amount of materials from different periods of time.


The city of Charleroi is not certain about the future of the stadium. The assessment of potentially reusable materials allows the involvement of stakeholders and provides a tool that can be used by the city to establish specifications for the design of a future project on the site or in the neighbourhood, in line with the revitalisation of the city.

Project Size: L

Interreg FCRBE partner :​ Construction Confederation with the support of BBRI

Associate partner :​ Architectural and Urban Engineering Department of the Polytechnic Faculty of the University of Mons

Download frontpage in EN

Download report in FR

SWCS, Charleroi (integration)

Late adaptation of the tender specifications to introduce on-and off-site reuse


As part of the renovation of “Société Wallonnedu Crédit Social” head office, adaptation of the tender specifications in order to give to the successful bidder an obligation to reuse some materials from the site, whether on or off site. Carrying out an inventory and adaptation of the tender documents.


With the late introduction of reuse ambitions, successfully engaging the architects and changing their initial approach to the project. Highlight the potential for reuse in a building that at first glance does not lend itself to it, andadapt the tender specifications in a verry short timeframe to allow companies to submit an offer accordingly.

CHARLEROI – BE –2021 –Public

Project size: S

Interreg FCRBE partner: Confédération Construction with support of BBRI

Project owner: Société Wallonne du Crédit Social

Assistant to the project owner : Intercommunale pour la Gestion et la Réalisation d'Etudes Techniques et Economique


Download frontpage in EN

Download report in FR

Extension of an office building, Malmedy (integration)

Late introduction of reused elements in the context of a constrained public tender.


Increase of the re-use rate in the context of the transformation and extension project of an office building owned by the Public Service of Wallonia, Department of Agriculture, Branch of Malmédy. Preservation of the existing building structure and construction of new buildings to significantly increase the capacity, comfort and accessibility of the offices.


The project was developed without the ambition of reuse. The search for ways to extract and reuse materials on site, or to integrate elements available on the market, comes late in the process. It is necessary to find a way to concretise this new ambition, in a rather constrained public market context, and although the potential for reuse on site seems low.

MALMEDY – BE - 2021 - Public

Project size: S

Interreg FCRBE partner :Confédération Construction with support of BBRI

Project Owner : SPW 

​Download frontpage in EN

Download report in FR



Fonteinstraat, Leuven (integration)

Upgrading of 3 social housing apartments


AGSL renovates 3 studio apartments with a limited budget in a social housing apartment complex at Fonteinstraat. In cooperation with the architect, reuse possibilities of the available materials were looked for in order to integrate them in the project of renovation. Insulation and ventilation is foreseen for the complex and 3 different approaches were planned for the apartments: from Low key to High key, based on the intensity of the spatial redesign and the reuse intensity.


How to create a quality home responding to today's standards with a limited budget? How to find sites where to reuse the extracted materials of very low value? How to take into account the existing structure, technical equipment and facade of the apartment complex? How to respond to the ambitions of the developer and architects regarding circular economy within the economic constraint? 

LEUVEN - BE - 2021 - Public procurement

Project Size : Small

Interreg FCRBE partner : Confederatie Bouw- BBRI

Project Owner : Autonoom Gemeentebedrijf Stadsontwikkeling Leuven

Download report in NL

Download frontpage in EN

De Ideale Woning, Lint (extraction)

Feasebility study of  reuse of bricks and roof tiles 


Social housing organization De Ideale woning is demolishing 28 houses. The houses will make way for a park, but after a few years new social housing and private houses will be built within a new complex. The houses were built in different periods and are in poor condition. The amount of material is high but the quality of the bricks is uncertain.   


Is it interesting for the developer to carefully disassemble, stock the materials for a long period of time, test their quality and recondition them in order to reuse them in the new buildings? Can these materials pass the quality tests and offer the same guarantee as new ones? Can all these operations compete with the very low price of new materials? How to take into account the uncertainty of the future site planning? 

LINT - BE - 2021 -  Public procurement
Project Size : L

Interreg FCRBE partner : Confederatie Bouw- BBRI

Project Owner : De Ideale woning

Project Manager : De Ideale woning

Dismantling company : Van Loo Projects

Download report in NL

​Download frontpage in EN

Jules Bordet, Evere (extraction)

Kantoorinrichting en materialen herbestemmen


Een kantoorcomplex wordt gerenoveerd tot nieuwe woningen en multifunctionele ruimten. Voor de materialen die nu nog in het gebouw zitten, zoeken we samen met de project ontwikkelaar naar nieuwe bestemmingen binnen hun eigen projecten en het vinden van outlets; herverdelers, scholen 


De grote hoeveelheden van specieke materialen, maakt het interessant om ze in andere projecten van Democo (in de regio) in te zetten. Timing en kosten en het vinden van de juiste (onder)aannemers is een uitdaging. Voor andere materialen (in goede conditie) is het lastig de geïnteresseerden te vinden.

EVERE - BE – 2021/22 - Private
Project Size : XL

Interreg FCRBE partner : Confederatie Bouw-BBRI

Project Owner : Democo

Reuse operator : Democo

Download report in NL

Download frontpage in EN

Hertongensite, Leuven (extraction)

Renovation buildings of the former institute of Pathology and surgery


The renovation of the buildings of  the former institute of Pathology and surgery is part of a large redevelopment project of the city of Leuven. The historical archive of UZ Leuven will turn the buildings into a museum. Together with the head contractor Resiterra we searched for outlets for the materials in good


A large variety of materials with reuse potential: Tiles, sinks, radiators, glass bricks ... for which finding a reseller or outlet in the area tended to be very difficult.  Timing:  The renovation/ demolition had to accelerate because of the world championship cycling passing.

LEUVEN - BE - 2021 - Public procurement
Project Size : XL

Interreg FCRBE partner : Confederatie Bouw- BBRI 

Project Owner : Resiterra

Project Manager : Resiterra

Dismantling company : Aclagro

Download report in NL

Download frontpage in EN



Our Town Hall, Manchester (integration and extraction)

Same-site reuse in historic public town hall

Lendlease  employed  the  FCRBE  project  in becoming   a   testbed   opportunity   to   disseminate material reuse across the company portfolio. Itaims to shape a reuse strategy to indoctrinate widespread reuse   practices,   future   proof   existing   reclaimed material   stock   and   regulate   material   circularity between its building projects.

Lendlease  highlighted  that  contractor resistance  and  uncompromising  programming  were prevalent  challenges  that  impact  the  regular  use  of reclaimed materials across their building portfolio. It was,  therefore  keen  to  explore  suitable  reclamation pathways   for   identified   materials   and   with   the support  of  the  dealer  network  and  FCRBE  toolkit, look  to  same-site  and  inter-site  reuse  wherever possible.

Materials involved
Brick, steel, timber

Project Size : XL
Type of procurement : Public
Interreg FCRBE partner : SALVO
Project Owner : Manchester City Council
Project Manager :Lendlease


Download pilot report

Spencer Rise, London (integration)

Reuse driving the design on residential project


A domestic renovation project where architect and property owner David Kohn sought a radical approach to reclaiming building materials and was happy for reuse to drive forward the design.


DKA was committed to making Spencer Rise an exemplar project to expand the practice’s interest and experience in reclaiming traditional and modern building materials. The challenge was to overcome the logistical barriers and learn how to navigate the reclamation trade.

LONDON - UK - 2021/22 - PRIVATE
Project Size : S
Interreg FCRBE partner : SALVO
Project Owner : David Kohn Architects
Project Manager : David Kohn Architects
Reuse operator : Multiple London Dealers
Dismantling company : n/a

Download pilot report

Slight House, London (integration)

Creative bonding with reclaimed bricks for a new private house


As an alternative to the use of new materials, Studio Bark architects opted for reclaimed bricks to clad the façade of a Londonian private house. These bricks are largely available on the reclamation market and were integrated into the design process


Finding the right type of reclaimed brick and how to install it.

Materials involved - Bricks

London - UK - 2021 - Private procurement
Project Size : 87 sqm - FCRBE partner : Rotor asbl -
Project Owner : private - Project Manager : Studio
Bark- Brick supplier: London Reclaimed Brick
Merchants - Contractor: ASAP Construction

Download pilot report

Grosvenor, London (integration)

Talking reuse with a large real estate company

About - As part of a refurbishment project in London, real estate company Grosvenor brought together different consultants to study reuse possibilities. Their findings have been communicated to the designers. The consultants pursued their research and enlarged their scope to include more general questions about reuse in the construction industry. They shared their results through guidebooks and webinars.

Challenges - Introduce a major real estate developer to the reuse of building materials.
Guide design offices and consultants in their research. Start from a small-scale project to think about how to implement large-scale strategies.

Materials involved - Bricks, steel structure, roof slates, cast iron radiators, floor tiles, wooden floors.

London - UK - 2021 - Private procurement
Project Size : 400m2 - FCRBE partner : Rotor asbl
Project Owner : Grosvenor Consultants, architects and engineering offices: Arup - Orms - Elliott Wood - HETA - ReLondon


Dowload pilot report


CNAP, Pantin (extraction)

Dismantling interior elements of an office building for off-site reuse

A look back at a dismantling operation dealing with interior finishings of an office building. In order to allow their dismtanling for reuse, an inventory and a collection of the market’s marks of interest is carried out, so that reuse can be included in the demolition works contract
Which batches of materials are of interest to the reuse market? How to set a reuse targetin the works contract?
Materials involved 
technical floors, modular partitions, insulation panels, interior doors, carpet, tiles, sanitary facilities...

(Photo credit: Benoit Florenco)

PANTIN FR -2021 public procurement
Surface : 4 600 sq.m
FCRBE coordinator Bellastock
Company in charge of dismantlingand reuse: Réavie
Dance Center, Paris (integration)

Reused hardware for a small interior design project. 
In this project, a storage space in the ground floor of a Parisian building is converted into a dance center. This is an opportunity for the architect to experiment reuse practice in their design for the first time.
Finding the right way to provide a small scale project with reused hardware. Setting proper goals for a first experience. Meeting the needs of a public programme (ERP) . 
Materials involved
Lights and doors handles.
(Photo credit: Louise Morin Architecte)
Paris - FR - 2021 - Private procurement
Project size : 350 sqm
FCRBE partner : Rotor asbl
Project Owner : Private
Conception : Louise Morin 
Supplier : Rotor Déconstruction

DERECOM, Seine-Saint-Denis (integration)

Deconstruction and reconstruction of modular concrete elements
social landlord initiate process odeconstruction of concrete structural modules for internal reuse in new housing buildings.
In order to prepare the construction projectit was necessary to organize an adapted works contract as wellas technical assesment procedure.
Material involved -
reinforced concrete
Seine-Saint-Denis (93)
FR 2021
Public procurement
Surface : 550 sq.m
FCRBE coordinator : Bellastock+ CSTB
Project manager : Seine-Saint-Denis Habitat
Elan Bâtisseur, Rennes (extraction)

Interacting with a demolition contractor to reclaim building elements

About - This operation explored how to step in a building site stripping to reclaim construction elements : by subcontracting with the demolition company, with a free site access to dismantle specific batches, or by organizing the collect of building elements dropped by the contractor. Each procedure leaded to different ways of reuse : donation, sales and internal reuse.

Challenges - Organizing the access to the materials without being formally involved.

Materials involved partition walls (glazed and solid ones), doors, suspended ceilings, lights, tilt and turn windows, sanitaries, steel radiators, furniture.


Rennes - FR - 2021 - Private procurement
Project size : >3000 sqm
FCRBE partner :
Rotor asbl
Project Owner : Neotoa
Deconstruction contractor : Elan Bâtisseur
Conception : 10i2la
Other actors : demolition contractor


Download pilot report in FR

Dowload frontpage in EN

Fourmies, Fourmies (integration)

Setting up a framework allowing contractors to be active in the reuse proces

The city hall of Fourmies wants to turn an old supermarket into a third place and take this as an opportunity to encourage circular economy. The upgrade of existing elements is prioritized and reused materials are integrated in the new designs.
Grasping the opportunities that will show up during the construction work.
Materials involved
Stone cobblestones and borders, concrete industrial slabs.
Fourmies - FR - 2021 - Public procurement
Project size : 1700 sqm (living area)
FCRBE partner : Rotor ASBL
Project Owner : Ville de Fourmies 
Conception : Atelier 9.81
La Chapelle, Paris (integration)

Reusing an uncommon material on the reclamation market

This is not architect Camille Salomon’s first experience with reuse. This operation of housing refurbishment in Paris is an opportunity to go further by integrating a quite uncommon material on the second-hand market : decorative high pressure laminate panels (HPL).
Finding batches of HPL in sufficient quantities in the industry. Composing with heterogeneous batches.
Decorative high pressure laminate panels.
Paris - FR - 2021 - Public procurement
Project size : 1500 sqm
FCRBE partner : Rotor asbl 
Project Owner : Paris Habitat 
Photo Credit : Camille Salomon Architecte
La Fabrique des Quartiers, Lille (extraction (2) and integration)

Small scale reuse operations with a high potential of reproducibility

The company La Fabrique des Quartiers regenerates ancient housing in a former worker neighbourhoods in Lille metropole.
Rethinking the management of the buildings’ end of life. Encouraging the development of the reuse sector. Improving construction practice by developing tools through case studies.
Materials involved
Ceramic tiles, cast iron radiators interior doors, chimney slabs, washbasins.
Lille - FR - 2020/2021 - Public procurement
Project size : Maisons de ville
FCRBE partner : Rotor asbl 
Tiles supplier : Antique déco 
Reinsertion company : La Fabrique de l’Emploi 
Conception for the project on Sainte Aldegonde street : Atelier Nicolas Pereira
Photo credit : La Fabrique des Quartiers


La Samoa, Nantes (integration)

Rationalise the reuse of road materials within a framework agreement
In 2021, urban planning organization SAMOA is implementing for the second time a framework agreement for upgrading the public areas in Nantes island. On that occasion, the organization would like to complete the process by integrating further reused materials.
Identifying the reuse sectors able to supply in a constant way important quantities of materials for many years. Incorporating enough flexibility to be able to deal with the unforeseeable aspects of reuse practice in a quite rigid contract. Extending the practices of in-situ reuse to an ex-situ reuse, at an advanced stage of the design process.
Materials involved
Stone and concrete cobblestones, stone lintels, concrete slabs, wood for furniture.
Nantes - FR - 2021 - Public procurement
Project size : Ile de Nantes (337 Hectares)
FCRBE partner : Rotor asbl 
Project Owner : La Samoa 
Conception : Jacqueline Osty & associés
Photo credit © Atelier Jacqueline Osty
Lanester, Lorient (extraction)

Simple and efficient


The project takes place in Lanester, in the region of Britany. The public building owner and the project manager had never done any reuse in their project ; but they showed a great motivation for the approachThe pilote operation relates to a 40 housing building demolition.


Save  materials  from  waste  by  finding  the  good balance  according  to  the  territory  capacities    and reuse sector. Initiate  the  process  and  increase  the  skills  of  the stakholders  in  order  to  accelerate  the  change.

LANESTER - FR- 2021 – public procurement
Project Size : M
Type of procurement : public
Interreg FCRBE partner : Bellastock
Project Owner : Bretagne Sud Habitat
Project Manager : Armoën
Reuse operator : Armoën + Bellastock
Dismantling company : on going


Download pilot report in FR

Dowload frontpage in EN

Maison des Canaux, Paris (integration)

Maximum Reuse

About Among its many environmental and social objectives, the renovation project of La Maison des Canaux, a 19th-century building, aims to integrate a maximum of reclaimed materials
Search for reclaimed materials for almost all the batches meet the technical and insurance challenges of a public contract for specific batches(metalstructures) -ensure the traceability of materials on the site.
Focus : structure métallique - Autres matériaux : bois, pierres, isolants, luminaires, carrelage, textile, palissade de chantier.
PARIS -FR -2021 public tender
Surface : 1009 sq.m
Project manager : https://passerelle-ecologique.paris/home/les-canaux/
Architect: https://grandhuit.eu/projet/maison-des-canaux/
FCRBE coordinatorBellastock
Steel construction contractor: General Metal
Supply of the steel structure : Sequano/ Bondy/ Est-Ensemble
Deconstruction contractorBouvelot TP
Manufacture des Tabacs, Strasbourg (intégration)

A reused wood panelling for a public project
The architects integrated reused materials in this refurbishment project of the former tobacco factory in Strasbourg.
Identifying reused materials which are suitable for interior wall cladding. Describing the material and its use in the specifications.
Materials involved Scenography flooring wood panels, Steenschotten wood panels, washbasins, toilets.
Strasbourg - FR - 2020/2021 - Public procurement
Project size : 1600m2
FCRBE partner : Rotor asbl
Project Owner : SERS 
Projected interior view © Générale et Atelier Matthieu Buisson
Nextmed, Strasbourg (extraction)

Reclaiming early XXth building components popular in the reuse market
During the renovation process of a former hospital building, a dismantling operation is set up to extract materials with a good reuse potential. This work is based on an inventory and a survey to collect the interest of the reclamation market. The dismantling operations are included in the demolition works contract.
Identifying the reusable batches and finding takers. Including the careful dismantling in the demolition works contract.
Materials involved
Ceramic tiles, framework wood, washbasins, cast iron radiators.
Strasbourg - 2020 - Public procurement -
Project size : 6.200 sqm (flooring) 
FCRBE partners : Rotor asbl 
Project Owner : SERS 
Other actors : Demolition and clearing contractor : Lingenheld, environmental advisor : Relais Chantiers

Patxa'ma, Bayonne (extraction)

A collective effort

A reclaim dealer needs to develop a tailor made technical protocol to facilitate the reuse of electrical switchboards In this purpose, the dealer triggers a collective work gathering many actors a reclamation dealer, a reuse expert, an electrical controller, a technical center and a lawyer specialized in construction law.

How to develop an appropriate technical protocol in order to get a product warranty. Without this warranty, the product cannot be accepted.

Materials involved

electrical switchboards

FR 2021 private procurement
Surface : 1900 sq.m
FCRBE coordinator : Bellastock + CSTB
reclaim dealer : Patxa’Ma

Download pilot report in FR

Download frontpage in EN

Port Chemin Vert, Aubervilliers (integration)

1% réemploi


Dans le cadre d’un projet de construction de bâtiments de logements sociaux, le maître d’ouvrage et son maître d’oeuvre ont pour objectif de dédier 1% du budget des travaux aux activités de fourniture et d’installation de matériaux en réemploi.


Quels sont les scenari pour atteindre l’objectif de 1% réemploi ? Comment sélectionner les matériaux et identifier des sources d’approvisionnement ? Comment adapter la conception au réemploi ?



Aubervilliers (93) - FR - 2021 – marché public
Surface : 4 437 m2
Coordinateur FCRBE : Bellastock
Maître d’ouvrage : Immobilière 3F
Architecte : ITAR
Aménageur : Plaine Commune

Download pilot report in FR

Quimper Station, Bretagne Occidentale (integration)

Large scale reuse for a public square project


The Gare-Parc urban planning project aims to redesign the train station of Quimper and the surrounding pedestrian area. The public authorities wish to include circular economy in the development of the project.


Identifying suppliers able to provide sufficient quantities of reused materials for a long-term design process (2 years). Adapting to the unforeseeable reclamation market supplies in a large-scale project.

Materials involved 

Cobblestones, borders, granite lintels, patio wood.

Quimper - FR - 2021 - Public procurement
Project size : < 40.000 sqm
FCRBE partner : Rotor asbl
Project Owner : QUBO (Quimper Bretagne Occidentale)
Conception : Agence Ter
Cultural urbanism : Cuesta


Download pilot report in FR

Download frontpage in EN

Sanitas, Tours (extraction)

Déconstruction d’immeubles d’habitat collectif en vue du réemploi multi-sites des matériaux

A propos
Un bailleur social organise la déconstruction de plusieurs bâtiments de logements sociaux en vue d’un réemploi hors site.  Pour permettre le réemploi, un travail de recherche de chantiers partenaires a été réalisé.

Quels lots de matériaux présentent un intérêt pour le réemploi? Comment trouver des débouchés pour les matériaux? Comment organiser le marché de deconstruction et stimuler la remise en oeuvre ultérieure des matériaux?

pierres de taille, briques d’ardoise, marches d’escalier, graviers, grilles métalliques, portes intérieures, sanitaires, éléments en bois.

Tours - FR - 2021- marché public
Surface : 16 000 m2
Coordinateur FCRBE : Bellastock
Maître d’ouvrage : Tours Habitat
Entreprise de démolition : Occamat
Entreprise du réemploi: La pierre de Jadis
Acteurs du réemploi : Petit Œuvre + Nexity, Parallèle architecture + Telim, 180°Architecture + La SET, Val Touraine Habitat, August Architectes...

Download pilot report in FR

Download frontpage in EN

L'Autre Soie, Villeurbanne (integration)

Integrating reuse on a district scale


Within the framework of a multi actor
development project , the project owner plans the
integration of reuse in the various real estate
operations (new constructions, renovations ,
demolitions ) and the development of public
spaces in the district.


How can reuse be integrated at the scale of a city district?

Materials involved: bricks, paving stones, tiles, metal walkways , cast iron radiators , parquet floors , interior doors , sanitary facilities , carpets , concrete walls.

VILLEURBANNE - FR - 2021 – public procurement
Surface : 23 400 m2
FCRBE coordinator: Bellastock
Project manager: SAS l’Autre Soie Est Métropole Habitat
Reuse assistant: Eodd, Mineka


Download pilot report in FR

Dowload frontpage in EN

FCRBE in the press!

All press releases featuring FCRBE project are compiled in this section.

(26/10/2023) Bouw het klimaat: Hoe kan ik bouwmaterialen hergebruiken?

An article about the freshly delivered FCRBE Practical Guides for diverse construction trades.

Visit the page.

(31/08/2023) Forum Bois Construction : la construction européenne à l’âge de la frugalité

Rotor presented the work and first results of the FCRBE project in Lille, during the Forum dedicated to the wood construction Forum.

Article in French here.

(10/05/2023) Des guides pour cadrer techniquement le réemploi des matériaux de construction

The material sheets are highlighted in this article in French, available here.

(01/2023) Quand le bois vit, meurt et ressuscite

For a long time too marginal, reuse frames, parquet floors or doors from construction sites becomes an economical solution and sustainable to preserve forests. Somes Bellastock and FCRBE examples are used.

Available in French here. 

(30/03/2023) Le réemploi, de la théorie à la pratique.

Highlight on the first Luxembourg digital platform dedicated to the reuse of construction materials.

Available in French here. 

(15/03/2023) En quoi la construction circulaire est-elle nécessaire ?

Intro : Construction and demolition activities generate a third of the waste produced by the European Union. Even if half of them are recycled, their recovery and their reuse are still too low. Beyond the obvious benefits for our planet, circular construction is also based on a new economic logic which must move away from the model of eternal growth that has become untenable. Meeting with Bruno Domange, Senior Environmental Engineer at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST).

Available in French here.

(2023) "Workshops answer questions on reuse"

The article talks about the 2 workshops that Embuild and Buildwise organised in March and April on collaboration and responsibility. 2 topics on which many questions remain unanswered for reuse entrepreneurs, the target group for these workshops.

You can find the article here. 

(11/2022 ) : Les cahiers d’espacesuisse : « Déconstruction et réemploi. Expériences en Belgique et en Europe »

Rotor did a long length interview with les cahiers d’espace suisse which resulted in a synopsis of deconstruction et reuse practices in Belgium and Europe, and where the FCRBE project plays a role today.

You can access the article here (FR).
(12/2022) Le réemploi des matériaux dans la pratique

Highlight about the FCRBE project on a magazine called "Smart and Sustainable Construction".

Available in French here. 

(11/2022) Construction 21: « Quelle place pour les matériaux de réemploi dans un monde industrialisé

Hugo Topalov from Bellastock and Michaël Ghyoot from Rotor teamed up to reflect on what is the place for reclaimed materials in our industrialized world. 
It resulted in an article published by construction 21. This collaboration is clearly one of the side effect of the FCRBE project: creating bridges between countries and organisations.
 You can access the article here (FR).
(11/2022) Libération: Quelle culture pour quelle futur? Rencontre. En architecture, « les possibles du réemploi sont infinis"

Chapeau: Victor Meesters, working on the FCRBE project at Rotor gave a short interview for the French newspaper Libération, promoting a low-tech and circular architecture for the futur. As always, we didn’t miss the chance to mention the FCRBE Reuse toolkit and Opalis. 
The article is available here (FR). 
October 2022 : Opérations Immobilières (Le Moniteur) : "Construire en réemployant des matériaux de construction"

The october edition of this professional journal is dedicated to reuse of building elements.
In this article, Bellastock invites you to take an immersive walk through the reuse sectors, enhancing Opalis directory and one of the 36 pilot operations of FCRBE project in the city of Tours.

You can find the article here

October 2022: You are still wondering what exactly the FCRBE project is as well as its context? What are its objectives and the first results?

This article  in the Swiss magazine Tracé might answers these questions. This article was produced in the framework of the Forum "Bâtir et Planifier" happening on 1 November 2022 in Renan (CH), where Rotor will present the FCRBE Reuse Toolkit.

Read the full article (in French) here

2022: FCRBE got a mention in the Brussels International Annual Report for 2021!

The Brussels Capital Region has been a great ally for the FCRBE project, supporting Rotor financially by covering part of its match fundings and by following the project development! The FCRBE project got also the chance to have a real impact on the Brussels Capital Region thanks to the involvement and work of Brussels Environment (Brussels public administration in charge of environmental affairs), one of the partners of the FCRBE project.

Read the mention in French (p.35) here!

(Sept 2022) FCRBE and its mobile exhibition featured in the Polish magazine Architektura Murator

As the FCRBE exhibition the 99% get the chance to travel and to meet the Polish audience this summer, the FCRBE project was also featured in the September issue of Architektura Murator, among other projects developed by Rotor. 

You can read the article here!

(Sept 2022) European Commission's Green Public Procurement Good Practices: FCRBE NEXTMED Pilot operation as a case study!

The last issue of the European Commission's Green Public Procurement Good Practices featured an FCRBE Pilot operation to illustrate how ti set reclamation targets in a redevelopment tender. 
(05/2022) AMC Magazine: FCRBE reuse toolkit

The FCRBE Reuse Toolkit mentioned in the AMC magazine.

(04/2022) NeoMag: FCRBE Material Sheets

Issue #46 of NeoMag presents the project Material Sheets. Available online from: https://fr.calameo.com/read/0054587694fb7c97c378c (p. 68-69)

(03/2022) L'Echo Circulaire: "Matériaux de voirie : les collectivités sur la voie du réemploi"

A clear introduction to the WP Capitalisation

Bellastock gives pride to FCRBE and Opalis through the pilot operation of the Rotor from Quimper station to Nantes, an interview with a company listed on Opalis, and a small insert at the end of the article on the FCRBE project. 


You can find the article here.

(02/2022) RTBF.be: "Et si la ville était une mine ? Le réemploi progresse dans le secteur de la construction"

Article on the webpage of the belgian public service broadcaster RTBF that mentions the FCRBE projet and some of its partners.

Link to the article: https://www.rtbf.be/article/et-si-la-ville-etait-une-mine-le-reemploi-progresse-dans-le-secteur-de-la-construction-10923817


(02/2022) Le Moniteur: "Un guide européen pour massifier le réemploi dans les marchés"

The FCRBE's guides to facilitate the practice of reuse in the building sector were presented in an article in the French magazine Le Moniteur.

"Written by the Belgian collective Rotor and the Bellastock architecture agency, the guide "Integrating reuse in large-scale projects and public contracts" has been available in French since the end of January on the website of the North-West Europe Interreg programme. The aim is to provide step-by-step guidance to project owners in defining their needs and using all the tools available to implement reuse in their operations."


"Un guide européen pour massifier le réemploi dans les marchés."

(02/2022) Batiactu: "Réemploi de matériaux : 36 fiches pratiques à destination des architectes"

36 practical sheets for the reuse of materials

Batiactu, a french website that gather information for the building professionals, talks about the FCRBE project and it's 36 practical sheets for the reuse of materials.

You can find the article here.


The 36 practical sheets are also promoted on a Website dedicated to architects at the following link.

(01/2022) Séquences Bois: "FCRBE Project - Technical sheets for the reuse of wood"

Appearance of the Interreg FCRBE project in a magazine dedicated to wood building materials. Read it here.

(01/2022) Cahier Techniques du Bâtiment

Innovation and development of decarbonized industries, those are the subjects covered in an article of the last CTB Magazine. 

The Interreg FCRBE project is mentioned as a recent inspiring innovation in the building sector.

Read the full article here.

(16/12/2021) BBC: 'The industry creating a third of the world's waste'

"We have to find a way to create prosperity and added value not by the production of new goods but from the maintenance and management of existing goods,"

Rotor, Bellastock, as well as Duncan Baker Brown, all three partners of the Interreg FCRBE Project intervene in a BBC article about building with reused materials. 

Read the full article here: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20211215-the-buildings-made-from-rubbish

(Sept 2021) Expresso - Maissonpassive.be: "Construire circulaire pour un futur durable"
(25/08/2021) Novabuild.fr: “Faire du réemploi une pratique commune dans la construction”

“Faire du réemploi une pratique commune dans la construction” par Jihen Jallouli I L’interview du mois, NOVABUILD


(Jul-Aug 2021) D'Architectures: special issue on reuse
(9/07/2021) Construction Cayola.com: "Réemploi : un chantier pilote à Quimper"
(03/2021) CSTC Contact: Impact environnemental des solutions circulaires
(12/03/2021) Le Moniteur: Special issue on reuse

Multiple references to the FCRBE project in a special issue on reuse:


Le réusage doit encore faire école.

(21/01/2021) Articonnex: "Le projet FCRBE favorise le réemploi des matériaux de construction"
(20/01/2021) Climatico: "Matériaux de ré-emploi, une espèce en voie de ré-apparition"
(25/11/2020) La Fabrique des Quartiers: "Economie circulaire: Entretien avec Rotor"
(26/09/2020) Circubuild.be: Opalis, le “Guide Michelin” du réemploi de matériaux de construction
(Jul-Aug 2020) Bouwbedrijf/Magazine Construction
(14/05/2020) Bouwkroniek: "Hergebruikbaksteen maakt publieke ruimte duurzaam"
(21/04/2021) Liberation: "Maisons de paille, de bois… Des matériaux naturels pour des villes plus écologiques"
(02/2020) Séquence Bois: "Entretien Croisé avec Arnaud Baert (Mineka), Morgan Moinet (Remix), et Victor Meesters (Rotor)"
(01/2020) CSTC Contact: Special edition on circular economy
(17/01/2020) The Architects Journal: "Virtuous circles: Can reusing building materials in new projects go mainstream?"
(9/11/2019): The New Scientist

University of Brighton is quoted in the article ‘No Planet B’ in the 11 Years Column

(12/10/2019) Green Building Encyclopedia: Facilitating Circulation of Reclaimed Building Elements (Project)
(12/09/2019) The RIBA Journal: "Architects have declared, but what do we do next?"
(11/07/2019) Green BUilding: "Salvo in reclamation boost to reduce climate change"
(4/03/2019) La Libre Belgique: “La construction sur la voie de l’économie circulaire”
(20/02/2019) Le Soir: “Construction et économie circulaire : du potentiel et des enjeux, mais le chemin est encore long”
(14/01/2019) L'Echo Circulaire: “Le projet FCRBE facilite le réemploi dans la construction. Bellastock et Collectif Rotor engagés dans ce projet européen Interreg”
(10/12/2018) D'Architectures: "Approbation du projet “Faciliter la mise en circulation des éléments de construction de réemploi”

Academic publications

(2022) "Intégrer l’économie circulaire Vers des bâtiments réversibles, démontables et réutilisables"

"Il devient donc primordial pour les métiers de la construction de limiter la consommation des matières premières, d’anticiper les usages par la réversibilité et la modularité des systèmes constructifs et enfin d’intensifier le tri, le réemploi et la valorisation des déchets."

The latest academic publication from Solène Marry, Ph.D. in urban planning and coordinator of "Circular economy and innovation in the building industry" at the Building Department/Sustainable Cities and Territories Directorate of Ademe, the French Agency for Ecological Transition. Together with her team, she tackles the integration of the circular economy in our societies and more specifically in the construction sector. 

The FCRBE project and its deliverables are mentioned.

(2021) Online: Zone à déconstruire. Petit tour d'horizon du réemploi et de la déconstruction
(2021) Urban Mine Incorporation: "Urban Mining und kreislaufgerechtes Bauen. Die Stadt als Rohstofflager"

Cortés, A. Vande Capelle, “Urban Mine Incorporation” in F. Heisel and D. E. Hebel (eds.), Urban Mining und kreislaufgerechtes Bauen. Die Stadt als Rohstofflager, Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2021, p. 79-89.

Non-edited English version available online: http://rotordb.org/en/stories/urban-mine-inc 

(2021) “Réemployer des matériaux de construction dans les marchés publics. Challenges et opportunités”

M. Vanderstraeten, Michael Ghyoot, Susie Naval, Gaspard Geerts, “Réemployer des matériaux de construction dans les marchés publics. Challenges et opportunités” in C. De Koninck, P. Flamey, P. Thiel, E. Hacke (eds.), Jaarboek over overheidsopdrachten/Chronique des marchés publics 2020-2021, Brussels: EBP Publishers, 2021, p. 599-616.

Project partners

Rotor - Lead partner

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.



The statutory members of Buildwise (previously the Belgian Building Research Institute, BBRI) include more than 90,000 Belgian construction companies, mostly SMEs. Buildwise'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.



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.


Brussels Environment

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.


City of Utrecht

UTR is the local authority of Utrecht, a city in the geographical heart of the Netherlands , housing over 350,000 inhabitants and growing at a high speed. Utrecht’s strong and balanced economic profile, its investments for innovative companies, and efficiency of the labor market gained the Utrecht region the title of second most competitive region of the EU (2019). UTR is involved in multiple (EU) networks and projects (Interreg, URBACT) on CE, CE business-modelling and circular construction.


Delft University of Technology

TU Delft is the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands. 8 faculties offer 16 bachelor's and more than 30 master's programmes for more than 25,000 students. The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft educates students to become excellent architectural engineers: brings research and education closer together and has a broad research area, and has a strong international community with over 30% foreign Master's students and staff from 42 countries.



Embuild (previously called Construction Confederation) is the main business organisation, social partner and representative body of the construction industry in Belgium. More than 15000 contractors have joined Embuild, from craftsmen to global players, carrying out all forms of building and civil engineering activities. Embuild informs, supports, represents and promotes Belgian contractors at the local, national and international levels.

It has three regional entities for the three Belgian regions:

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology

LIST is a Research and Technology Organization developing solutions with a focus on environmental innovation, digitization and advanced materials. LIST covers the entire innovation chain and is specialized in fundamental and applied scientific research, experimental development, incubation and transfer of new technologies as well as scientific policy support. LIST provides science-based support for environmental policies at national and EU level and gives regulatory support for RDI.


University of Brighton

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.


Salvo Ltd

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.


Scientific and technical Center for Building

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.


The project was made possible with the support of our co-financing partners :

The Digital School of Re-construction (Digi-SoR-c) summer school ran for two weeks from Monday 2nd -13th August 2021.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the digital School of Re-construction Summer School. We feel that it was a fantastic success with a huge output of creativity and inspiring ideas from both students and Team Leaders alike. We are very pleased to announce that a publication of book on the Summer School by Routledge will be made available as online (open access) in 2024 and will be available in hard and softback too. If you want to know more please contact project co-ordinator Duncan Baker-Brown at D.Baker-brown@brighton.ac.uk.


The University of Brighton’s School of Architecture and Design are hosted a digital Summer School aimed at students from the worlds of design, architecture, construction and engineering. The digital School of Re-construction (SoR-c) considered concepts and propositional ideas that considered ways to re-use materials and elements from the built environment.

Our team at the University of Brighton includeds Anthony Roberts, Nick Gant, Dr Ryan Woodard, Siobhan O’Dowd and was 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”.


To access the School of Re-Construction website which includes either recordings of all public discussions, keynotes and other recorded events or pdfs of presentations please click on the links below:

From left to right: Duncan Baker-Brown, Antony Roberts, Lucy-Ann Gilbert, Nick Gant, Dr. Ryan Woodard, Siobhan O'Dowd.

The SoR-c team were 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:

  • An online directory of more than 1500 specialised salvage dealers and allied businesses in North-West Europe.
  • A pre-demolition 'tool kit' designed to help clients assess the re-use potential of materials and products present in buildings slated for demolition.
  • A specifications manual to help construction professionals integrate reclaimed building materials and products in large-scale projects.
  • Test and promote tools through 36 pilot operations taking place in large (de)-construction projects across North-West Europe.

This project responds to the worldwide declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency, and locally to Brighton and Hove’s ambition to be Net Carbon Neutral by 2030.

*North-West Europe includes Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland  and the Netherlands.

Topic 2021: Re-think Re-Use

Digital School of Re-construction 2021

Over 70 students from different regions across the world worked 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 endeavored to 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 included 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 surveyed a chosen artefact, room, or building with a view to digitally unpacking and deconstructing them. Each of the eleven teams created 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 tackled 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 posed questions and provided a particular ‘lens’ for re-structuring elements that are usually discarded or re-worked. Each team had 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 allowed one to have direct experience with these challenges. The two-week-long workshop culminated in a carefully curated online exhibition of these experimental design interventions.


The following themes were read as specific ‘lenses’ through which participants looked at their particular ‘libraries of elements’. Please note that in some cases they were slightly adapted depending on what was 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?


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?


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?


A book on the Summer School  is being published by Routledge, when it is available as an open access document it will be available here.

For further information please contact: project co-ordinator Duncan Baker-Brown at D.Baker-brown@brighton.ac.uk

Get in touch:

Email:  School-of-Re-construction@brighton.ac.uk

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The final activity report

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