Reuse is common sense: FCRBE campaign

Reuse is common sense: FCRBE campaign

Source text and video courtesy of:

FCRBE : Interreg : 

Reuse of building elements: will it soon be the norm in Europe?

Today in NW-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. The result is a high environmental impact and a net loss of economic value. 

This project aims to increase by +50% the amount of reclaimed building elements being circulated on its territory by 2032.

Focusing on the northern half of France, Belgium, and the UK, the project also covers, with lesser intensity, the Netherlands, Ireland, the rest of France, and Luxembourg. This area houses thousands of SMEs specialized 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 meaningful projects and integration in contemporary building practices. Today, the flow of recirculated goods stagnate and may even decrease due to a lack of structured efforts.

To respond appropriately to these challenges, the project sets 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.

These tools will be tested and promoted through 36 pilot operations taking place in large (de)construction projects, whereby more than 360 tons of elements will be reused. Effective communication efforts towards the stakeholders of the construction industry (including public authorities) will facilitate a smooth integration of these outputs into field practices and policies.


Source text and video courtesy of:

FCRBE : | Interreg : 

REUSE eBook by Macarthur Foundation

REUSE eBook by Macarthur Foundation

Reuse – Rethinking packaging, free eBook

Converting 20% of plastic packaging into reuse models is a USD 10 billion business opportunity that benefits customers and represents a crucial element in the quest to eliminate plastic waste and pollution.

This new release from the New Plastics Economy team provides a framework to understand reuse models by identifying six major benefits of reuse, and mapping 69 reuse examples. Based on an evaluation of more than 100 initiatives, and interviews with over 50 experts, it aims to inspire and help structure thinking. Reuse – Rethinking Packaging provides a basic description of how different reuse models work as well as typical implementation challenges.

It is not intended to be a detailed how-to implementation guide. The focus of this initial work is on packaging solutions in business-to-consumer (B2C) applications. While there certainly are many reuse opportunities in business-to-business (B2B) applications, these are generally better understood and adopted at scale already.

DOWNLOAD HERE the free eBook by Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Blade Made

Blade Made

At Superuse, waste rotor blades are seen as structural and aesthetic elements for large scale, worldwide use in design and architecture. Blade made designs reduce wind energy waste and provide an opportunity for later recovery of valuable composite materials.

If only 5% of The Netherlands’ yearly production of urban furniture such as playgrounds, public seating, and bus shelters were made using waste rotor blades, then all of The Netherlands’ estimated 400* waste rotor blades produced annually would be removed from the waste stream.

(* ~2000 wind turbines, assuming 15-year blade lifespan)

☢︎ = 1000 MW = ±10 tonne composite material

Latest research shows that we will face around 43 million tonnes of wind turbine blade material waste worldwide (Liu, P., 2017)

“Architects can play a fundamental role by using waste, and what’s more, ingenuity, to convert waste into structures that are useful, imaginative, and beautiful.”

Bahamón and Sa njinés 2010

Rematerial: From Waste to Architecture

Text: Superuse | Photography: © Denis Guzzo

a playground with added value and a smaller ecological footprint built for the same price as a comparable standard playground

The first ‘Wikado’ built at the Meidoorn playground at Old block at the North of Rotterdam, was built for the same budget as a comparable standard playground and has an ecological footprint fifty times smaller. The WIKADO playground was the winner of the 2009 European Environmental Design Award.

Above: aerial view of the Wikado playground designed by Superuse  © Denis Guzzo

The playground was designed to maximize imaginatively play, social interaction, and children driven game development. The inherent properties of rotor blades make this material an excellent choice: weather and wind resistant; organic, ergonomic shapes; and a strong and a rigid structure. The cylindrical portion of 30m long blades has a diameter of 1.4m and makes for interior play spaces. One of the five 30m blades was used intact.

The remaining four blades were cut into three sections. The four cylindrical end sections were transformed into play towers that stand around the central play zone. Each tower has a distinct and recognizable character: the ‘tower flat’ has three rooms with peeking holes; the ‘watchtower’ with a former F16 cockpit on top; the ‘water tower’ with a hand pump for children to pump water for mixing with sand; and, the ‘slide tower’ to which the original slippery slides from the site is attached.

The intact blade and remaining cut sections were overlaid as if pick-up-sticks in the classic children’s game ‘Mikado’. And indeed, the name ‘Wikado’ is derived from ‘Mikado’, and the
The Dutch word ‘wiek’ for rotor blades.

The overlaid blades give diversity of play spaces for toddlers through to older children and allows for different types of play activities. It creates a labyrinth in which children can endlessly chase each other, while also creating sheltered and interior spaces for other kinds of play.

Tensioned netting strung between the 4 towers is for climbing and also functions to create a play space for street football (the PannaVeld)

The the surface of the PannaVeld is made of ‘Nike gravel’, a flooring developed by Nike sports from shredded sneakers.

Above: the main view of the Wikado Playground designed by Superuse  © Denis Guzzo
Below: image slider with the photo series © Denis Guzzo

ReWind Almere

a durable and indestructible shelter

Designed shelters for the thousands of daily commuters to use the bus-train transfer station at Almere Poort. The durable and indestructible shelter design uses four 30m rotor blades. Waste rotor blades are easy to find in Almere, Holland’s #1 wind-energy region. Stacked in a Stonehenge like manner, two 30m blades are used to create a large shelter. Two of these large shelters are being built. The changing shape over the blades’ length gives a shelter roof that morphs into different forms depending on the angle from which it is viewed. Every part of the blade is used.

The blades were cut into four sections to harness the different inherent qualities along the blade’s length. This gives construction pieces that are essentially readymade for various construction purposes.

The strongest and heaviest part (former connection to the wind turbine axial) is used as roof supporting columns and the widest part of the roof’s blade. The blade’s tip is used for the long seating bench, and the circular end pieces are used for large planting pots placed around the site.

Above: the bus stop shelters at Almere Poort’s station designed by Superuse  © Denis Guzzo

ReWind Rotterdam

a seating with iconic quality

↑↓   ReWind at Willemsplein, Rotterdam

© Denis Guzzo 2012

The ReWind public seating is located at Willemsplein, a public square at the foot of the well-known Erasmus bridge; a public seating made from rotor blades was designed and installed for the Rotterdam municipality with joint funding from Joulz Energy Company.

The municipality were in need of durable, indestructible seating with iconic quality for people waiting to board harbour tour boats, but which could also be temporarily removed, when necessary, to make room for public events.

 Nine rotor blades from Friesland destined for incineration were used. 5 blades were used for seating, 3 as backrests, and 1 as place marker. By adjusting the angles and positions of the blades ergonomic public seating with a diversity of seating options was created. Seating depths vary from ±30cm to ±80cm, providing upright seating to more relaxed lounging options. The ±6m long blades, originally manufactured by Stork, are attached with bolts to 1m3 concrete aggregate blocks made heavy enough to keep the lightweight blades in place. The aggregate is 90% recycled concrete rubble from Rotterdam.

 The blocks have a pentagon footprint with a skewed 3D form that changes shape from different viewing angles. The tops of the blocks are oblique which puts the upright place marker blade at a slight angle, making it stand out against the predominantly vertical elements on the square.

 All blades were painted signal red, to bring colour to the stark grey surroundings of Willemsplein and to pick up on the red of Willemsbrug that can be seen further down the river.


Above: the main view of theReWind designed by Superuse  © Denis Guzzo
Below: detail of one of the concrete blocks holding the rotor blades.

selected horizontal photos of the ReWind at Willemsplein, Rotterdam | Denis Guzzo ©

Did you know?

In 2020 ReWind at Willemsplein in Rotterdam has been repainted and became a monument!

Find out more about the process of place-making that made possible the REUSE of the ReWind to become the new monument for Rotterdam’s sexual diversity.

The post includes the short documentary 12′ produced by Denis Guzzo for CBKRdam and the photo series of this intervention’s different steps.

Find out more on the post!  →

People’s Pavilion | Dutch Design Week 2017

People’s Pavilion | Dutch Design Week 2017

Text: Bureau SLA | Photography courtesy of Filip Dujardin and Bureau SLA

People’s Pavilion won the Frame Awards in category Sustainable Design, The Dutch Design Awards in the category Habitat, and the ARC18 Innovation Award. 

The People’s Pavilion is designed to promote the value of a closed-loop, or “circular”, construction system, which involves thinking beyond the life of the building, so that little or no waste is produced as a result.


The pavilion is a design statement of the new circular economy, a 100% circular building where no building materials are lost in construction. The designers of bureau SLA and Overtreders W have accomplished this with a radical new approach: all of the materials needed to make the 250 m2 building are borrowed. Not only materials from traditional suppliers and producers, but also from Eindhoven residents themselves. And to be clear, it’s not 70% or 80% or even 95%, but 100% of the materials: concrete and wooden beams, lighting, facade elements, glass roof, recycled plastic cladding, even the Pavilion’s glass roof, all of which will be returned completely unharmed – with one special exception – to the owners following the DDW.

The exception? The striking colored tiles that make up the Pavilion’s upper facade, made from plastic household waste materials collected by Eindhoven residents, will be distributed among those very residents at the end of DDW. 100% borrowed means a construction site without screws, glue, drills or saws. This, in turn, leads to a new design language: the People’s Pavilion reveals a new future for sustainable building: a powerful design with new collaborations and intelligent construction methods.

Facts & figures

design: bureau SLA & Overtreders W
designers: Peter van Assche, Hester van Dijk, Reinder Bakker
client: Dutch Design Foundation
structural engineering: Arup
urban Mining advies: New Horizon
main builder: Ham & Sybesma, Amsterdam

From trash to tile: 100% plastic waste

Facade claddings meet high technical demands. Every cladding has to be completely wind- and waterproof. It has to protect against fire and last in extreme weather conditions. It doesn’t come as a surprise that the development of true sustainable facade materials has been proven difficult. Recently, the company Pretty Plastic has developed a tile that consists entirely of recycled PVC building material waste. Because only waste streams are being used in the production process every tile is slightly different, which gives facades a natural look. The tiles are fully fireproof certified and can be applied on any building. By both cleaning up waste streams and producing a cladding material that can be endlessly recycled in the future, the Pretty Plastic tile truely contributes to a circular economy: from trash to tile. Over and over again.

Pretty Plastic aims to produce cladding products made of upcycled plastic waste that look great are safe in use, easy to apply, and last forever.

Pretty Plastic contributes to a circular economy where waste does not exist and raw materials are used over and over again.

The Cladding material from upcycled plastic is for sale via the Pretty Plastic website.