Announcing Circular demolition and design: Le Jules in Brussels

The Jules is a work-in-progress of achieving a high level of circular economy principles in a building project. a2o has taken up this challenge together with client Ciril and Democo, who have started deconstruction works. We started this project from the concept of adaptive reuse, as it is the transformation of a former office building in Brussels. It is situated on the edge of the historical old cemetery of Schaerbeek. The site and the building offered a good starting point for pushing the boundaries of circular building.


The fact that the structural skeleton could be reused prevents the waste of energy and material invested in the past and limits the exhaust of additional greenhouse gasses. As the project advanced, additional opportunities for material recycling became clear in other building layers: the shell, the interiors, the installations. Ciril is currently carefully and professionally disassembling the old layers. For a significant amount of insulation, raised flooring, light fixtures and fire reels, new uses have been found in the building or in other projects. The remaining building offers another advantage that recuperated materials can be stored easily on site, in the basement.


Moreover, the new design offers an eco-friendly residential environment to its future residents. The apartments have been designed to obtain maximum benefit from the sun and have been equipped with installations to lower the environmental impact of daily life. The residents, who will start living there from 2025, will enjoy an outdoor environment with large terraces and a biodiverse mini forest that integrates the project in the green environment of the streetscape and the historical cemetery.


On the basis of these actions, we keep on learning and experimenting – aiming to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ more efficiently in future projects.