Today, there are more and more companies specialised in dismantling and reusing materials from construction and renovation projects. They are committed to anchoring reuse in current building practices. It is essential that their efforts and presence on the market become visible so that they can connect with the current and new generation of professionals.
That is why Rotor vzw already created the website Opalis.be in 2011: an online platform where contractors, architects and building owners interested in used materials can find each other. It includes an overview of available dealers, materials and other practical information about the (re)use of building elements.
Initially, the inventory was limited to companies in and around the Brussels Capital Region, but in the meantime the website has been expanded to include dealers from all over Belgium, as well as sample projects with reused materials. With the support of Circular Flanders, we want to expand our project again, with 2 focus points. On the one hand, we want the list of traders and example projects to grow even further. In doing so, we want to look for less obvious companies and for projects with reused materials of which we have no or few examples.
On the other hand, we want to prepare the platform for a large European Interreg-project, in which we want to extend the research into reusable building elements across national borders, together with 7 other partners.
Since 2019, we have been making many preparations for a major Interreg project. The main objective is to increase the amount of recovered building elements in circulation within the project area by 50% by 2032. To achieve this, in the coming years, together with 7 other partners, we will work on 3 sub-objectives: expanding Opalis throughout the Benelux and France, developing the necessary technical and legal information for the extraction of reusable materials and for the integration of these materials in new construction projects, renovations and alterations.