Building, transforming, demolishing, are part of architecture history. For urban planning, technical, aesthetic, economic reasons…, buildings must be destroyed to make room for new constructions, green spaces, new routes,… this is how the cities and territories’life cycle goes.
If in the past, architectural marvels were destroyed, this is (almost) no longer possible today and it is fortunate.
The authorities, heritage preservation associations, everyone even, ensure that remarkable buildings are saved from real estate developers attacks, too often greedy for profit and with little respect for architectural heritage.
And when a building has to be sacrificed despite everything, nothing is wasted.
Because there are entities in Belgium, such as Opalis, Rotor or re-use-construction to extend life of certain materials.
Made by Val Saint Lambert in Seraing (Belgium), these glass blocks were intended as inserts for concrete panels to create special light effects. They are perfect for making wall lights, coffee tables, light partitions and other decorative items, or simply as small sculptures.
The objective of Opalis is to facilitate re-used materials in construction and renovation projects. The site offers a directory of professional operators who sell construction materials after dismantling old facilities or buildings. It also provides technical documentation on the most common construction products on the re-use market, showing recent inspiring achievements.
Created in 2017, «re-use constructioni» brings together actors committed to the development of a circular economy for building components in the Brussels-Capital Region.
It is currently made up of around twenty entities with varied profiles: research centers, federations, actors in the non-profit sector, building professionals, materials distributors, training organizations, public institutions, etc.
RotorDC, for Deconstruction/Consulting, based in Brussels, is a cooperative company fully owned by its employees. This entity works with entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profit organizations to act as a central part of a regional ecosystem for the large-scale reuse of building materials. While in its early days in 2014, RotorDC sold almost exclusively materials dismantled by its own workers, its store now also materials from several other suppliers such as demolition contractors and real estate companies.
Whether in Belgium or internationally, via exchange platforms, materials sale or purchase, any professional or private entrepreneur can now manage and recover what was until recently considered as construction waste, tiles, parquet floors, bricks, noble stones, lighting, sanitary ware, hardware, veneers, stairs, radiators, doors, etc.
Nothing is lost, everything is to be gained.
Photos copyright: RotorDC & Opalis
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