Margaux Lespagnard

Margaux Lespagnard

Ir. arch. Margaux lespagnard is a PhD researcher at VUB architectural engineering. She obtained her degree as a master of science in architectural engineering within the Bruface program (ULB-VUB) in 2019. In her research, under the supervision of prof. dr. ir. arch. Niels De Temmerman and prof. dr. ir. arch. Waldo Galle, Margaux aims to develop circular design guidance for architects when designing circular affordable housing.


PhD research

Circularity for all. Circular design guidelines towards an accessible qualitative housing market.

Date2020 - ...
SupervisorsNiels De Temmerman and Waldo Galle

As real-estate prices in Belgium, as in most Western countries, are rising, more and more households struggle to find access to qualitative housing. This results in pressure on conventional housing aid systems. New alternatives are emerging to answer the challenges of qualitative and affordable housing. One trend tries to minimize land costs through new residential typologies like tiny living or cohousing. Another trend includes inventive financing models like cooperative ownership.

Most of these trends focus on the initial cost. Circularity as a design and construction strategy has the potential to reduce costs over the full lifespan. Through choices that ease maintenance and building
alterations by enabling reuse and recycling, circularity makes any typology and financial model more affordable in the long run. Yet, Its implementation is slowed down by a lack of insights into the relationship between specific design choices and the typology and financial model in which they are applied.

Most of the trends above are situated in niches and often raise more questions then they answer. This Research proposal will create concrete insight into how circular design choices enhance the affordability of owner-occupied housing, in relation to the emerging residential typologies and financial models. These insights will be translated into exemplary case studies and design tools, like decision matrices and workshop formats that allow building developers and architects to make better-informed choices