Reuse of building elements; FRCRBE publishes practical guides for identification, inventory and integration


The European Interreg project Facilitating the Circulation of Reclaimed Building Elements (FCRBE), brings together eight Belgian, French and English partners, who work for 4 years to stimulate and facilitate reuse in construction in Northwestern Europe. Ultimately, the project aims to achieve a 50% increase in the amount of recycled building elements by 2032.

The project team developed a methodology to identify and provide insight into construction products with potential for reuse prior to demolition. In addition, a practical guide has been written for integrating these building materials and elements into new projects.

The first guide describes the entire identification process, from an initial visual inspection in the building to the final preparation of an inventory for reuse, in which the identified reusable building elements are listed.

This inventory provides information about the characteristics of the materials and products, such as dimensions and quantities, their condition, environmental impact, technical characteristics, disassembly advice, etc.

Reclamation audits are a crucial step towards enhancing the amount of building materials and products being effectively reused by the construction industry. In regard to this general objective, reclamation inventories can serve different purposes:

  • Providing building owners and designers of new projects with information on same site reuse opportunities.
  • Advertising the availability of potentially reusable materials to reclamation professionals and other interested parties who will contribute to the effective circulation of the elements.
  • Indicating which elements need to be carefully dismantled to the demolition contractor.
  • Serving as a decision tool for discussing the effective reclamation and the destination of the products.

The manual is aimed at construction professionals and all stakeholders involved in the demolition and construction process: building owners, contractors, architects and engineers, as well as traders in reusable building materials, etc.

Copyrights Rotor DC
Copyrights Rotor DC

A second manual supports construction professionals in the process of integrating these recovered building elements and materials into new (renovation) construction projects. The guide is primarily aimed at large-scale and public projects, but is also very useful for smaller and private initiatives.

The extensive information guides the various actors and construction teams through the different phases of the construction process and offers the reader insights into possibilities and approach.

Both guides are available in a preliminary version and will be evaluated based on the feedback and experience the FCRBE project team will gain from 36 pilot projects in Belgium, France and the UK over the next 2 years. The final versions of both should be available by the end of 2021.

More information about the project and downloads of the publications can be found on our FCRBE website.

Are you familiar already with our Instagram account #1500reuse. We are documenting 1500 reclaimed construction materials resellers across Europe. The proof that reclaimed construction materials can be beautiful and accessible!