A prestudy for the development of a reuse center in social economy in Brussels

This report analyses a series of possibilities to set up a social company for the salvaging and reclamation of construction materials. The report is based on an in-depth analysis of examples carried out in different regions. It shows that if many scenarios are possible, there are also dead-ends - appealing at first sight but economically or practically unviable. Common sense and ecological drivers are not the only components of a viable social economy project.

The report is divided in three main sections:

  1. The first one analyses the "reusability" (the potential to be reused) of the common construction products. This analyses is based on a series of criteria: (conservation of mechanical properties, conservation of aesthetic properties, facility to be dismantled, transported, stored and reinstalled, toxicity, and comparison with the value of a new equivalent. Each element is assessed in regard to these factors, allowing to present a list of good candidates.
  2. The second part concerns the effective circulation of the materials: how to organize their acquisition (deconstruction, collect, etc.), their storage (indoor, outdoor, etc.), their conditioning (sorting, cleaning, cutting, verification, etc.) and ultimately their sales (to private or professional clients).
  3. The last part develops different business models that could be set up for creating a reuse centre in social economy.

On top of that, the study was accompanied by a first directory of 48 reuse dealers active in Belgium. This sheet is the ancestor of Opalis!



Maarten Gielen, Michael Ghyoot, and Lionel Devlieger.

Original title:

Pré-étude en vue de la création d'une filière des matériaux de déconstruction en économie sociale. Inventaire des matériaux, analyse des traitements et modèles logistiques possibles (FR)

With the help of:

Alice Versieux, Shelbatra Jashari, Tristan Boniver and Bernadette Denuit.

With the support of:

The federal cabinet of Minister Arena and IBGE.


With the support of