Victor Ooghe

Victor Ooghe

Victor Ooghe is a PhD researcher at the Architectural Engineering Lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He obtained a degree as Master of Science in Architectural Engineering at Bruface (ULB-VUB) in 2014 and a master degree in Urbanism at ULB in 2015. From 2015 to 2018, he worked in a architecture office.

In 2018, He started two research projects : Wood In Molenbeek (ULB, 2018-2020, supported by Innoviris) and Usquare urban development (ULB-VUB, 2018 -2023). At the same time, he started a joint ULB-VUB PhD research project on the public development of circular urban building projects in Brussels. The project is supervised by prof. dr. ir Philippe Bouillard (ULB) and Niels de Temmerman. This research aims to understand the public action and the tension between the required needs of current urban transformations and the environmental impact of the operations. It is driven by the collaboration with practitioners (mainly in the Usquare project. Current urban projects represent a large impact and circularity is often only developed in design phase or during the execution while early-stage decisions on urban planning or program could have more impact.

PhD research

Urban circular projects in Brussels : public stakeholders’ approach to develop circularity

Date2018 - ...
SupervisorNiels De Temmerman

To face to continuous and tremendous increase of material consumption and its direct results - scarcity of raw materials and pollution -, circular economy and the dynamic to create loops of use are presented as a main strategy to solve the situation. In this challenge, construction sector has an important role to play because it represents approximately a third of material flows in European countries. Circular Economy (CE) is commonly shared as one of the main strategy to reduce the flows and to create positive local externalities. Dynamics and projects are numerous. Policy makers develop plans as a framework to implement this approach in European cities. Practitioners try the experience in projects and researchers or advisors proclaim methodologies but the current macro results are far away from the ambition : important flows, only 1-2% are reused and the social externalities seem limited. 

However, current exemplary projects as Usquare present more optimistic outlook : most of the buildings can be preserved, till 10% of reuse rate and integretion of innovative approaches (fonctionality economy, design for dissambly or biosourced materials). these results are possible with a paradigm shift, an holistic understanding of CE, new tools and new collaborations (participation of the research team to advise project teams). Indeed, CE development induces new parameters in a complex public equation : the development of ambitious urban program in a local context with limited budget, existing buildings and new circular demands.

This research aims to question the material circularity on the two highest levels of waste hierarchy (preservation and reuse) in different projects developed by public stakeholders (urban planner, project manager) from urban planning to execution. By this bottom-up approach, practical limitations and opportunities can be identified in every stage of the urban projects.