Active ReUse: intelligent design now, intelligent demolition later on

Building homes in the Netherlands involves two major challenges. The first is that by 2020, all new homes must be energy-neutral or close to net zero. The second is the growing scarcity of resources. Together with a number of partners of Cirkelstad (Circular City), Doepel Strijkers Architects invented Active ReUse, a new construction method that offers a solution to both problems.

Active ReUse is a design principle for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient, yet very comfortable home that consist predominantly of recycled materials. The concept allows for convenient application in mass housing construction, and is energy-efficient as a result of the glass façade, smart awnings, and innovative climate control systems.

Besides the use of recycled materials in construction, homes built according to the Active ReUse concept are provided with a materials passport. This passport describes the types and quantities of materials that were used to build the home. This facilitates reuse of the materials when the building has reached the end of its useful life and is demolished.

The first five homes that were built according to the Active ReUse concept are located in the Concept House Village at Heijplaat in Rotterdam. This 'village' is an environment dedicated to experiments in the area of sustainable construction and living where pilot homes built according to various concepts can be tested.