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The Circular School of the Future

A circular school at Het Nieuw Zuid

Groep Van Roey has submitted a change-driven design to the City of Antwerp. However, we wish to further optimise the design into a real prototype of the Circular School of the Future. In early 2018 Groep Van Roey submitted a tender to AG VESPA for the design and construction of a community primary school in a new neighbourhood that is being developed south of Antwerp, ‘Het Nieuw Zuid’.

The City of Antwerp has ambitious plans for the area and wants to turn it into a circular neighbourhood. With this in mind, it has submitted this project proposal to Urban Innovative Action for ‘Circular South’. The plan is for this neighbourhood to serve as a test ground for many principles of the circular economy.

Kindergartens and primary schools in the city have faced capacity problems for years now, which call for quick expansion. But what should happen with these buildings after the period of growth? Can they be reduced in size or can their use be altered again? Will the capacity problem shift to secondary schools? What will eventually happen with all these school buildings once they are left vacant?

Concretely, we expect to find an answer to the following research questions:

  • Which design and construction strategy or strategies is/are preferred in the design of a circular school building?
  • Which concrete change-oriented construction solutions can be applied to support the reuse of the buildings’ components, as well as the adaptability and multiple use of buildings?
  • What are the initial and lifecycle environmental impacts and the lifecycle costs of a number of practical change-oriented applications?
  • Which implementation strategy should be used for BIM (Building Information Model) so as to safeguard the management and value of both the building and its components over time?

Groep Van Roey nv

Partners VITO/Energyville, VUB Architectural Engineering, Universiteit Antwerpen, Wetenschappelijk & Technisch Centrum voor het Bouwbedrijf