Facilitating the circulation of reclaimed building elements in Northwestern Europe

Project Details


This project aims to increase by +50%, the amount of reclaimed building elements being circulated on its territory by 2032 by creating a directory of 1,500 suppliers who are involved with the dismantling of existing buildings and re-using this resource in new construction projects. It will create: a 'toolkit' to enable clients to understand the potential for this working method: capture 36 case studies of de-construction and re-construction projects across the region; and curate a week-long summer school workshop exploring these themes with students and SME's

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:

- 1 online directory that richly documents more than 1500 specialised reuse operators,
- 1 pre-demolition audit method or 'tool kit' for reusable elements for clients,
- a set of 4 innovative specification methods for reclaimed products,

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.

In addition the University of Brighton will deliver a Summer School workshop over five days in August 2020. At least 60 young professionals and a similar number of SME's across the region will attend the live build workshop and the symposium that will test and discuss issues in relation to de-constructing buildings and re-using second-hand material in new build projects.

Key findings

Effective start/end date1/01/1930/09/23


  • Interreg VB North West Europe


  • Reuse
  • circular economy
  • Deconstruction
  • Reconstruction
  • sustainable design


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