You’ve surely heard the term “circular economy” or “circular economy” before. But what exactly does circular building mean? You see, there are so many terms that come up, think recycling, upcycling, regular consumption, etc. that it starts to sound like Chinese. That’s why we like to immerse you in the sustainable world of circularity.

From linear economy to recycling

We start at the beginning. The most familiar way of consuming is the linear economy. Simply put, this means that we convert raw materials into a product, consume the product and throw it in the trash after a single use. A way that has been around for centuries, but is hugely depleting for the earth. But above all, a way we absolutely must move away from.

A slightly better way to enjoy a product a little longer is recycling. Dismantling an existing product and using the still usable basic materials as raw material for a new product. Still not the best way to live sustainably, but one that moves us in the right direction. It extends the life cycle of a particular product or raw material. Once you recycle a product, resource or material, you are actually converting waste into new raw materials. Which ensures that a product gets a sort of second, third or sometimes even fourth life. Make no mistake, recycling is not the same as reusing. In the latter case, a product remains the same and does not undergo a process of transformation into a new product, which is the case with recycling.


Continuing indefinitely with a circular economy

If you want to live completely sustainability-proof, a system change is needed. Usually this is done using a 3R approach: reduce, reuse and recycle. You try to use fewer raw materials, you reuse the raw materials as much as possible and you give the raw materials a new look. This ensures that raw materials are depleted less quickly and that they have a longer life. In line with a circular economy, is circular construction. The only difference here is that you go deeper into the aspect of “building” and apply it specifically in practice.

Circular building is green building?

Putting circular building into practice, how do you go about it? For this we look at the overall picture, from initial notes to the end result, with as few resources and as little pollution as possible. Very simplistically put, of course. The main focus is on using natural and reusable resources as efficiently as possible. Also consider materials from previous building projects (e.g. renovations), which are given a new life in your building project. Here it is important to pay attention to the hazardous substances that may be present. Materials with dyes, plasticizers or asbestos, for example, absolutely must undergo a detox treatment that helps remove the toxins. Circular construction, of course, involves much more than material selection. For example, it is essential that you build in a way that is energy-efficient, low-maintenance and self-sufficient. Because circular building looks like circular living, ah yes of course! In Belgium and the Netherlands there are already some circular gems from which we can absolutely take inspiration. For example, these are 2 promising projects in a row: The Green House in Utrecht or ‘T Centrum by Kamp C.

'T Centrum Kamp C

The Green House

To make the abstract theory a little lively, we briefly explain these two sustainable toppers. The Green House is a restaurant that is circular from head to toe. For example, the building is completely dismountable/modular and they used reusable materials. Consider, for example, the glass cladding, which was constructed from the former cladding of a barracks. Or the ceiling of the kitchen and bar is a creation of old doors. In addition, they also make use of leasing materials, where some materials remain in the possession of the supplier, making the overall picture completely circular. It is a different way of thinking and working in which existing processes are questioned, but the new approach that can also be profitable makes a world of difference.

‘T Center

As the name suggests, ‘T Centrum is a center for sustainability and innovation. Since they are the pioneers par excellence, in terms of sustainable construction anyway, they centralize their building in a light-rich environment. The overall concept consists of modular office design (in other words, dismountable parts), transformable workstations and leased materials. In short, a concept that works! It has much lower energy consumption, longer lifespan and can be easily rebuilt. Something you totally aspire to as an enterprise, right? We think so too! Live circularly, live circularly!