Circular Retrofit Lab

Circular Retrofit Lab

Circular Retrofit Lab

Circular Retrofit Lab

The Circular Retrofit Lab is one of the 6 international case studies of the HORIZON2020 project Buildings As Material Banks (BAMB).

In the context of this project the VUB will build the Circular Retrofit Lab as a demonstrator lab on its campus (Brussels), in which new and existing building solutions will be integrated that are demountable, adaptable and reusable, in comparison with Meccano kits.

A cluster of student housing units will be transformed to a demonstrator lab using dynamic solutions for internal partitioning, technical services, furniture and building facade.

This demonstrator will show how an existing structure can get more potential for the future in order to be easily transformed into different functions (e.g. a dissemination space, a co-working space, an eco-guesthouse in the middle of the campus). The Circular Retrofit Lab will demonstrate how this change can be anticipated by supporting other functions every 6 months on the first floor level. On the ground level a dissemination space will be situated in which the results of the BAMB project will be shown to a large audience, sustainable lectures can be given, the technical solutions developed with the industrial stakeholders can be observed, etc.

In order to build this demonstrator VUB and IBGE are working together with pioneers in the building sector, like product developers, entrepreneurs and enterprises that support this circular demonstrator lab. Their support consists of integrating existing (dynamic) solutions in the lab, joint development of new building solutions, funding through material donations or material leasing, etc. The Circular Retrofit Lab has developed partnerships with a large group of industrial partners.

In a first phase, a temporary lab allowed exploring different building solutions, mainly wall assemblies, that will be used in the final demonstrator lab. During a Summer School, these solutions were tested by a group of enthousiastic students. The construction of the final lab is expected to start in October 2018 and should be finished by February 2019 for the official opening.


Related news

Follow the construction works of the Circular Retrofit Lab on the pilot blog.
Read the article about the launch event of the Lab (Dutch).


Related publication

A visually attractive, easy-to-read publication includes many images, maps and learnings from 4 pilot projects that tested circular construction at real scale. Download it here.


Related projects



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 642384.