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Salvo starts a project aiming to increase European reclamation

Posted on | By Thornton Kay
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Brabant Brussels, Belgium - Over the next three years Salvo will be a major partner in Interreg NWE 739 FCRBE, a €4.3m EU-funded project to increase reclamation and reuse. Yes, as the UK sidles out of the EU, we are striding in.

The project team comprises eight mainly institutional partners of which Salvo is the only SME, from UK, France and Belgium along with many other associate partners and stakeholders. Formally entitled ‘Facilitating the circulation of reclaimed building elements’ it has been shortened to ‘FCRBE’, but at Salvo we have, since the start of the long application process in April 2017, called it the ‘EU project’. Thornton Kay will be working full time on the project, with part-time help from Sara Morel, Becky Moles and Shirley Kay, all of whom are now directors and shareholders in Salvo Ltd. The cost will be partly paid by Salvo and partly by a European Regional Development Fund grant.

The project aims to increase by 50% the amount of salvage and reuse by 2032, focusing on the north half of France, Belgium and the UK, but also to a lesser degree, the Netherlands, Ireland, the rest of France and Luxembourg.

The project includes:
An online catalogue of a selection of reclaimed products viable for large-scale projects
A ‘Truly Reclaimed’ labelling scheme
A method to assess and organise the extraction of reusable building elements from buildings to be transformed or demolished
20 pilot operations to test methods for integrating building components in new projects
16 pilot operations for the extraction of reusable elements (e.g. reusable audit, deconstruction, sampling, testing in laboratory)
20 building commissioners, architects, and contractors are introduced to the use of the newly-developed methods and accompanied in the realisation of a real-life construction operation in an ongoing real-estate project.

The partners are . . .
Rotor asbl-vzw, Brussels (the lead partner)
Salvo Ltd, UK
Confédération Construction / Confederatie Bouw Brussels (CC)
Centre Scientifique et Technique de la Construction Brussels (CSTB)
Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment, France
Bruxelles Environnement - Leefmilieu Brussel (BE)
University of Brighton, Sussex
Bellastock, Paris

. . . and are broadly categorised as:
1 Organisations with direct expertise in the reuse of building elements: Rotor (B), Salvo (UK) and Bellastock (FR).
2 Research centers and consultancies for the construction industry: BBRI (B) and CSTB (F); but also Arup (UK) as associated partner.
3 Professional federation representing the building sector: CC (B).
4 Public authorities in charge of environmental and material resource management in the building sector: BE (B) but also ADEME (FR), OVAM (B), DPD (B) as associated partners.
5 Faculties of architecture: University of Brighton (UK), but also TUDelft (NL) as associated partner.
6 Professional building commissioners: Befimmo (B), Beliris (B), Circolab (FR), Paris Habitat (FR), Ymere (NL), etc. all as associated partners.
The project will also involve associate partners and stakeholders.

Lead partner Rotor sets out the objectives of FCRBE:

The project targets the non-destructive reclamation and circulation of building elements, performed by dedicated professional operators. It sets up concrete actions to allow for an upscaling of the circulation  and integration of reclaimed building elements in large-scale projects in NWE. We acknowledge the existence of a sector, which, to a certain extent, is already active in the circulation of reclaimed building products. We consider this sector as bearing the seeds of a future circular economy for building components, and as a result, the project is crafted around the needs of the operators of this field. In this regard, it both differs from and complements other EU-funded projects that address the reuse of building elements from a more prospective and top-down manner (design for disassembly, materials passport, etc).

While the reuse of construction elements was a mainstream practice in the history of construction, it has become progressively a niche market throughout the 20th century. One of the reasons for this is the increasing dependence on products with well-known characteristics, available in catalogues or custom-made, and guided by technical standards - expectations that could not be met by reclaimed products. As a result, today’s reuse practices are often limited to less-demanding applications in small or medium-scale private projects, where the formalism of specification methods does not stand in the way. Within the reuse market, pre-war building materials are favored, while the demand for more recent reclaimed products is relatively undeveloped. In general, the supply chains for reclaimed products are still weakly organised.

This project goes beyond this situation by providing adequate methods to make reuse an option available for large-scale projects, including in more formal contexts such as public tenders, and demanding applications. This will constitute a strong incentive for the reuse sector to develop new services, deal with larger material quantities, and offer a greater diversity of products. It also anchors reuse in mainstream building practices, taking it out of its niche.

To do so, the project will deliver the following complementary outputs:
• A richly documented online directory of more than 1,500 SMEs active in the reclamation and reuse of building elements, active in the project area. This output is supplemented by a quantitative survey of the sector (WP T1)
• A ‘Truly Reclaimed’ labelling scheme. As an initial pilot for a broader application, it will be developed for wood products (WP T1)
• An open-source and common method to assess reusable building elements, and organize their extraction from to-be-transformed buildings (WT T2)
• A set of new strategies for the specification of reclaimed products, also applicable in the context of public tendering. (WP T3)
• An online catalogue of a selection of reclaimed products viable for large-scale projects (WP T3)
• 16 pilot operations for the extraction of reusable elements, involving building commissioners and demolition contractors in the audit and deconstruction of existing building. This will provide empirical data on the auditing methods developed, allow for the sampling and testing of specific elements in laboratories, quantitative analysis, and a documentation of the whole process (WP T2)
• 20 pilot operations to test the methods for integration of reclaimed building components in new projects, raising awareness amongst building commissioners on the availability of reclaimed components and helping them to integrate these in their current projects (WP T3)
• The reuse of  more than 360t of components in the pilot operations (WPT2/T3)

In addition to these primary outputs, the project will also actively disseminate the tools developed and foster interest for the reuse sector through publications, newsletters, public events, symposium and workshops.


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That’s enough for now. The entire application is 20,000 words long and we will be running through the sections in the future editions of SalvoNEWS.

If you are interested in contributing as an associate partner or a stakeholder please email shirley@salvo.co.uk or phone 01227 500485 (+44 1227 500485)

Story Type: News