Today in north-west-Europe, only 1% of building elements are reused following their first application. Although a large number of elements are technically reusable, they end up being recycled by crushing or melting, or disposed of. The result is a high environmental impact and a net loss of economic value.
Luxembourg’s Zero Waste strategy (Null Offall Lëtzebuerg) promotes a rational management of resources by considering buildings as material banks and by fostering the creation of reclaimed building elements exchange market.
FCRBE is an innovative Interreg project that first focused on the northern half of France, Belgium and the UK. Its extension (call for capitalisation) will also cover the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This area houses thousands of SMEs specialised in the reclamation and supply of reusable building elements. Despite their obvious potential for the circular economy, these operators face significant challenges: visibility, access to important projects and integration in contemporary building practices. Today, the flow of recirculated goods stagnates and may even decrease due to a lack of structured efforts.
To respond appropriately to these challenges, FCRBE set up an international partnership involving specialised organisations, trade associations, research centres, an architecture school and public administrations. It is rooted in earlier initiatives that were successfully initiated, on a local level.
It aims to expand the developed tools to new construction industry stakeholders and to previously non-covered geographical areas and stakeholders, and also to upscale the adoption of reuse practices by building commissioners (public and private) and public authorities thanks to a newly developed method, a table of indicative reuse targets, and several pilot operations.
Practical guides will introduce reuse to general contractors, finishing contractors, carpenters, roofers, infrastructure workers and demolition contractors. Adoption and dissemination of these guides will be supported by workshops and webinars. Moreover, specific issues linked to the insurability of reused materials will be taken into consideration.
FCRBE will develop a method to set, monitor and report on reuse efforts in the context of building projects and public policies and also a table of indicative reuse targets for specific projects typologies based on the analysis of 30 achieved projects in north-west Europe. The results will be tested in four live tests to set ambitious yet realistic reuse objectives in ongoing calls for tenders’ procedures.
Finally, a communication campaign will contribute to disseminate results from both the original FCRBE project (online directory, pre-demolition audit method and other methods, catalogue of commonly reclaimed products, etc.) and the capitalisation initiative to Luxembourgish stakeholders.