Bringing vacant buildings (temporarily) back into circulation provides ecological, economic and social added value. In practice, however, this sustainable approach to space (re)use does not always equate to sustainable material (re)use. After all, building systems are not designed for temporary use. The core problem is that, precisely because of the temporary nature of the infill, low-grade linear materials are often chosen.
Through the project Labo Leegstand BUUR cvba wants to demonstrate that it is possible to make an empty building temporarily usable in a circular manner, according to the current (insulation) standards, and that this filling can also be dismantled and reused after a few years.
We are conducting this research on the basis of a concrete practical case in De Potterij, a strategically located contaminated site in the Mechelen inner city that is being set up for temporary use. De Potterij is a demo area where producers can test products and exchange experiences with a view to change-oriented construction, but also a showcase for spreading circular ideas.
Our ultimate ambition is to use the results of the research project and the practical case to develop a project that is as scalable as possible: a broadly applicable, sustainable modular construction package for the temporary filling of empty premises.
Partners Miss Miyagi bvba
The Potterij will be a building open to the public, so that it will function as a showcase for circular construction for at least two years. A physical tag attached to the box and the Fugzia website will make it easy for interested parties to find information about circular construction and the materials and building kits used.
If possible, we would also like to set up a workshop or small event space in the Potterij according to the principles of change-oriented building. This can then be used by all Labo Leegstand project partners and the associations in Mechelen.
The City of Mechelen is also currently working on a campaign about circular building and wants to use the project of Labo Leegstand as one of the realised examples in their communication.
The temporary filling-in of the Potterij by Mechelen's sharing economy (Deelbaar Mechelen, Coflab, Ko-lab and Nootenboom) is actually a pre-programme for its eventual filling-in: the Impact Factory, a home base for a new kind of sustainable entrepreneurship and a base for the circular economy in and around Mechelen.