BuildReUse ‐ 100 percent re‐use and recycling in buildings with short usage cycles

Some buildings, such as supermarkets or office buildings, are often demolished and rebuilt after a few years or at least have their interiors changed, turning large quantities of building components into waste. The BuildReUse project aims to develop circular economy concepts for these buildings and to promote the necessary change in the construction industry.

Short Description

Running Time

30 Months (1.2.2022 to 31.7.2024)

Starting point / motivation

Globally limited primary resources make re‐use necessary and sensible – also in the construction industry. Re‐use of building components protects ecosystems by reducing the use of primary resources, increases the resilience of the economy through independence from raw materials, and enables sustainable economic activity while saving landfill volumes. Currently, re‐use of building components such as beams, windows or suspended ceilings ‐ although technically possible ‐ still takes place very rarely. In some building types, such as supermarkets or office buildings, the effective service life of the entire building or of specific building components is relatively short: Effective service life often ranges from 3 to 15 years, as frequent adaptations to the respective use and high functionality are required. Here, re‐use has a particularly strong impact on the resource balance.

Contents and goals

The overall objective of the "BuildReUse" project is to develop basic principles for the construction and deconstruction of three building types with use cycles of about 10‐15 years, specifically for supermarkets, office buildings and interim sanitary buildings. These buildings could use re‐use components while still under construction, and should be fully demountable and thus re‐useable without significant energy expenditure.

Methodological approach

BuildReUse investigates potentials and barriers for the application of re‐use components and recyclable products and construction methods in buildings with short usage cycles – and develops implementation concepts for re‐use. In order to ensure that re‐use is not only theoretically possible but can also be implemented in practice, optimized processes and technical options for three use cases will be discussed with the stakeholders concerned: BuildReUse approaches will be reviewed and improved in terms of user‐friendliness, effectiveness and functionality.

Expected results / conclusions

An important goal of BuildReUse is to identify and develop implementation concepts for the re‐use of building components. Moreover, the BuildReUse team will conceptualize building development processes, cooperation models and business models that explicitly provide for and actively support re‐use in the construction industry. In order to consider re‐use in building footprints, an evaluation system that includes re‐use will be designed. Another planned result of BuildReUse is the definition of requirements for re‐use products and components in form of a BuildReUse guide or handbook, which is necessary for broad implementation.

Project Partners

Contact Address

Feldgasse 19
03112 5886 365