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Circle House - 90% Reusable Materials


The Circular Retrofit Lab is one of the pilot projects developed in the framework of the European innovation project: Building as Material Banks (BAMB). The circular refurbishment of one of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel Campus modular building is testing demountable, adaptable and reusable solutions for maximizing waste reduction.

Key Takeaway:

In order to achieve effective circular solutions, the CRL pilot project highlights the need to implement a co-creative process all along the (re)design, (re) built, (re)use, repurpose or dismantling phases. This necessitates a close collaboration with all the value chain stakeholders and future users in the early development phase.

Unique Feature of the Project:

CRL pilot project uses existing products that have a high potential to reach circularity objectives as envisaged within BAMB. Products already existing on the market offer the advantage of technically and commercially viable projects.

Achievements of the Project:

The first demonstrator has been successfully developed and constructed. The plan is to build next 60 similar social housing residences.

Project Stakeholders:

More than 20 companies in the Danish building industry developing their components and systems compatible to circular principles and design.

Project Outputs:

Together with the industry stakeholders, wall systems, existing on the market, were transformed into reversible systems through a step by step innovation strategy. The team developed a catalog of different partition walls adaptable to different contexts, user needs, economic conditions, and functional requirements.
Currently, these partitions are being integrated into the refurbishment of circular transformation lab. The ancient concrete module will benefit from a reversible configuration to be adapted, transformed and changed on a regular basis.

Replicability of Project:

The structural system can be easily replicated. The facades and interiors can be varied according to user needs. The components can be demounted and assembled in another building.

Scalability of Project:

Scalable. The modules can be installed in row houses and low and medium rise apartment buildings of different heights and forms as long as they use the same square modular unit.


3 Main Challenges?

1. To get the whole supply chain engaged.

2. To make good design to avoid the monotony.

3. To gain market acceptance and still support long service life.


3 Main Successes?

1. Showcasing an example that brings the theory into practice.

2. To find a client involved in its development to create market demand.

3. To engage the industry at large to be able to meet the demand.