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Super Circular Estate: joining material and social circularity to respond to citizens' new demographics and needs

Super Circular Estate project Municipality of Kerkrade Netherlands

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Project elaborated in partnership: 
Submitted by: 
Municipality of Kerkrade
Start/End date: 
11/2017 to 10/2020
Expected end date: 

The challenge:

In Parkstad Limburg region (South NL), due to demographic evolution, the population is estimated to shrink by 27% in the next 30 years, calling for a radical re-orientation in housing facilities.

The Super Circular Estate solution:

Concretely, three pilot housing units will be built with different reuse/recycle techniques using materials acquired from the circular demolition of one of the high-rise social housing buildings. Harvested materials from the high-rise flat will be brought back to resources in 24 material flows, e.g. the surfaced timber will be restored to wood for reuse/recycle purposes. The proposed innovative urban action is to experiment with new circular economy processes aimed at 100% reusing and recycling of materials acquired from the demolition of an outdated social housing high-rise block.

Social circularity

Super Circular Estate's innovation aim is to revolutionize the management of social housing associations towards more sustainable, resource-efficient decision making, delivery models and processes. The Super Circular Estate aspires to gather important information for estate owners and social housing corporations in the EU with similar challenges in comparable shrinkage regions.

In line with circularity principles, former residents will be invited back into the area. These potential tenants will be closely involved in the co-design, operation and monitoring of the new collaborative economy services and facilities (such as a shared mobility platform and a social services centre) within the area.

Follow the project's development on its online journal

Main activity field:

Main results: 
  1. Deconstructing the existing 10 story housing block built in 1968.
  2. Reusing 75% - 100% of its material to construct three, and later potentially, sixteen houses in the same neighborhood.
  3. Development of new construction methods with reusable materials.
  4. Assessing environmental and economic benefits related to this circular method of (de)construction.
  5. Evaluating users' perception of circular buildings and the acceptance of reused materials in new housing.
  6. Evaluating the optimum CO2 pricing for circular construction.

The reduction of CO2 emissions compared to the construction of a new high-rise block of flats is estimated at 805 000 kg.