Circular construction: working together, the key to success

Five partners explore opportunities and bottlenecks of cooperation

Circular innovation is hard to find within the construction world: contractors and investors prefer to avoid risks around new building techniques and often fall back on traditional building solutions. In addition, the individual interests of the organizations and various disciplines in the construction industry are predominant, which means that there is little trust between the various actors within a building or renovation project. This makes it not always clear to building owners and users what individual and social opportunities circular building has to offer.

Jansen by ODS, Bureau Bouwtechniek, Lootens, BUURMAN Antwerpen and Franck want to change this. Within the project "Circular Building: Cooperation is Key" they investigate the opportunities and bottlenecks of a cooperation around the circularity of building materials. In doing so, they focus on the following innovative themes:
- Cooperation in the circular building industry. Currently, different players often operate from their own island and within their own material chain. The partners in this project are active in different materials (Jansen by ODS and Lootens: steel and more generally metal/ BUURMAN: wood/ Franck: facing bricks);
- Urban mining. For many contractors, selective demolition is a responsibility that they prefer to pass on. The consortium wants to develop 'urban mining facilitation': a service that relieves the contractor of as much of his burden as possible;
- Comprehensive characterization and attractive visualization of mined building components. The current method of offering circular building components generally results in very low interest in reuse among architects and building owners. During the project, existing component management platforms (e.g. Harvest Map from Jansen by ODS, Cirlinq, BIM library from Mosard,...) will be evaluated and tested. Based on the findings, an own component management concept will be set up. The partners have the ambition to link 3D visualization to this, including the possibility of viewing the components in a virtual building. In addition, all the information relevant to architects (dimensions, available specimens, CO2 savings, etc.) must be easily accessible.
- Optimization of logistics and storage. Preferably, a component goes directly from the site where it is "mined" to the site where it is reused. However, because of a timing mismatch and/or because the component still needs to be processed, it may be necessary to bring it to a hub. There is a need for proper management and follow-up.
- Specification of circularity in specification texts. At present, descriptions are often too general, so that, for example, materials that are essentially not circular are also considered. The partners want to help think about alternative ways to raise the level of circularity (in relation to the consortium's materials) in specifications.

The ultimate goal of the project is to demonstrate the added value of cooperatives on circular building materials and systems.

- The photo shows a facade produced in Deinze for Gare Maritime in Brussels. After proven service, this facade was disassembled and processed for the project "The Field - The Most Sustainable Kilometer of the Netherlands". This is how the circular ball rolls across national borders!
- More info on the circular approach of Jansen by ODS can be found in this movie


Jansen by ODS, een divisie van Kloeckner Metals Belgium

Partners Bureau Bouwtechniek, Lootens, BUURMAN Antwerpen en Franck