A circular facade brick for DING

New Design Museum Ghent wing gets innovative facade stone

Design Museum Gent will be extended with a new wing under the name DING (Design in Gent) to a design by TRANS architecture urbanism, Carmody- Groarke and RE-ST architects. Sogent is coordinating the assignment as delegated builder on behalf of the City of Ghent. Maximum use will be made of sustainable materials and technology. For the façade, the museum and the team want a circular brick that incorporates a proportion of construction waste, preferably from the people of Ghent, as a raw material. 

The project splits into a material-technical research into making a circular facing brick from local raw materials and waste on the one hand, and a legal research into the monopoly position of a new material and the way a government calls for tenders on the other hand. 

For the facing brick, several samples were designed by different partners: fired bricks by StoneCycling and compressed bricks by Local Works Studio and BC Materials. For aesthetic and ecological reasons, we opted for the principle of compressed bricks. 

On the legal side, an appointment guideline was prepared by project partner Caluwaerts & Uytterhoeven: legal advice specifically for the use of an innovative building material in contract documents for public works contracts. 

The project combines legal guidance, design research, technical expertise and solid know-how throughout the entire development process of the public construction project. In this way, the project partners hope to do their bit for the principles of circular construction and become a source of inspiration in Flanders and far beyond.


Partners Design Museum Gent (AGB Kunsten en Design), TRANS architectuur | stedenbouw, Caluwaerts & Uytterhoeven (Legal Office), StoneCycling en KU Leuven (Faculteit Architectuur)





  1. StoneCycling, Local Works Studio and BC Materials made many samples of fired and pressed facing bricks, each time adjusting their composition, waste particles, colour... In the end, we chose the pressed bricks with lower CO2 emissions. 
  2. The DING brick is innovative because the raw materials, besides lime, come from local waste streams. The bricks are also produced locally, which keeps energy consumption for transport very low. 
  3. An appointment guideline was drawn up. This is legal advice specifically for the use of an innovative building material in contract documents for public works contracts. 
  4. The exhibition 'verbinDING. From concept to plan' covered the elaborate plans for DING and the complex design process that preceded it. Explicit attention was also paid to the development of the circular facing brick.


  1. The research into making a new material is a time-consuming process. It is an intensive process, with many feedbacks, adjustments, lab tests ... The attestation process also takes time. 
  2. Choosing the right partners is crucial for the success of the project. It is important to check sufficiently thoroughly beforehand which partners with which know-how should be involved to achieve the best results. 
  3. The circular facing brick is an innovative building material tailor-made for DING. That uniqueness is not easy within a public contract, especially in terms of product standardisation. It is easier to build with existing, already attested materials. 
  4. In terms of communication, we have learned that there is a lot of interest in the research on the facing brick, but that the press makes little difference between research and concrete plans. Communicating about an ongoing research is complex, ideally it should only be done when the research is finished.
82% local raw materials in stone
63% local waste in stone
2 year CO2 uptake by stone
33% less CO2 emissions


The facing brick was custom-made for DING. The know-how gained by StoneCycling and BC Materials during the process is an added value for future projects of both partners. 

The developed process constitutes a model for producing bricks from waste that can be applied everywhere. We already hope that the circular facing brick will be scaled up for other building projects in the future. The more the model becomes widespread, the more waste streams will be reduced thanks to reuse in building materials.