FuruREuse: Evaluating the technical performance of reclaimed building materials

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


Generally speaking, when a new material is used during construction, it is accompanied by a technical datasheet stating its performance specifications. These specifications make it possible for the buyer to be assured that the properties of the material correspond with the requirements of the building specifications and also with current regulations. The technical datasheet also states the way in which the material’s performance is measured, whether in accordance with a standard, a technical requirement or a technical approval or accreditation. Also, if the material is covered by a harmonised standard or technical assessment, the manufacturer is obliged to draw up a performance statement and apply CE markings to its materials. These markings attest to the reliability of the information stated about the material’s performance. Voluntary certifications are also possible.
With reclaimed materials, the situation is usually very different. It is much more unusual for these materials to have technical documentation and, even if they do, this documentation is practically never drawn up in accordance with the procedures applied to new materials. In addition, if some performances had been stated, they may no longer be valid. This situation can restrict the reuse potential for materials.
This booklet will try to answer the following question: How can we be sure of the suitability for use of a reclaimed material? Various methods and approaches will be explained. Other questions on the same topic will also be broached. What are the differences and similarities between new and reclaimed materials from the point of view of justifying their fitness for use? Who are the actors involved and what might the distribution of the responsibilities be between them in terms of the way the various parties are configured?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Reuse-oriented redesign
  • Technical Performance
  • construction industry
  • Low Carbon


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