Prepare circular demolition digitally

Identifying the circular potential of properties to be demolished

Roeselare's current town hall complex is outdated, not energy-efficient and not maintenance-friendly. The city council wants to replace it with a new building integrating the historical part of the current town hall. This will require the demolition of several buildings, which the city wants to tackle in a circular way. 

Through this project, Arcadis aims to identify the circular potential of the buildings to be demolished. We are tackling this through a comprehensive digital inventory of all the materials present and their properties, linked to a BIM model. On this basis, the information flows through to the contractor, who is encouraged to demolish certain reusable elements in a circular way. 

The inventory led to reuse of released materials in the wider city patrimony, and even to changes in the design of the new building to integrate some of the released materials. In addition, numerous local associations were given the opportunity to reuse recovered materials. 

This successful partnership between a local authority and private entities, each with its own interests and constraints, can also serve as a model for other projects. Many local governments have similar projects that can be realised within similar partnerships and constraining contexts.


Partners Stad Roeselare en B-architecten nv





  1. We prepared an innovative digital inventory, linked to a BIM model, with a visual representation of where each material is located in the building, and its properties. 
  2. Many materials were selected to be reused in other buildings in the city's heritage. LED luminaires, distribution poles, HVAC installations, gas detection plant, plumbing, cameras, ceiling tiles ... 
  3. Some 50 local associations were also given the opportunity to reuse materials from the old city hall. Once again, a wide range of materials were given a second life: cabinets, chests of drawers, tables, chairs, curtains, sanitary facilities, etc. 
  4. Thanks to the inventory of materials, it was decided to integrate the roof slates and natural stone floor tiles into the design of the new city hall. Materials such as plasterboard and roofing found their way to thorough recycling.


  1. The sooner potential reuse is considered, the greater the opportunities. Integrating released materials from demolition into the new building yields the greatest gains. 
  2. Digital data collection in the field is not straightforward. The information available from a building is highly variable, and the tools available (e.g. 3D navigation on a tablet) affect ease of use (synchronisation issues) and feasibility. 
  3. The prepared material sheets were a valuable communication tool between the different partners. The contractor also considered it an added value. The sheets help to quickly understand the required works, already during the tender phase. 
  4. Circular demolition starts at the drawing board, namely when designing a new building. After all, the design should already be able to indicate what can be done with the materials when the building is demolished.
1 Digital inventory tool
1 Circular demolition specification
224 m2 Roof slates reused
1 Belgian Construction Award


The cooperation model was a valuable experience for the three project partners. An approach was tested for the city of Roeselare that can later be applied to other city projects. B-Architects and Arcadis discovered the added value of integrating circular demolition into the demolition specifications, and of repurposing released materials. 

Digital data collection from a BIM model is also a fascinating and valuable experiment. In the future, we will continue to explore and develop digital tools in function of our projects. Furthermore, we hope to build new partnerships and project teams, drawing on our experience from this project.