CESCO XL, a new circular living concept

A hybrid housing model in Flanders

The construction sector consumes more than 50% of the materials mined worldwide and accounts for 35% of the total amount of waste in Flanders. Knowing that residential property occupies almost half of Flanders' built-up area, it is clear that housing plays an important role in the transition to a resilient construction economy. But renewing the building heritage has been slow, and traditional rental and ownership models do not offer incentives to adopt circular solutions. 

Through this project, we want to introduce a new circular housing concept using a new business model: a Circular Economy Service Coalition (CESCo). This involves a central party entering into service agreements with residents for 'living as a service' on the one hand and performance-based contracts with professional partners for circular products and services on the other. The CESCo will be a new form of collaboration between existing players within the construction sector that can accelerate the introduction of circular principles into residential real estate. 

With CESCo XL, we want to work on high-quality housing developed according to circular principles in terms of design, construction, financing, maintenance and operation. In this way, we hope to offer residents a long-term living career with affordable housing costs and a flexible housing typology for every living situation.

Groep Van Roey

Partners VITO, Rebel, Archipelago, Endeavour, UHasselt





  1. We made a literature review summarising the various (inter)national sources on alternative housing models. This also zoomed in on the different target groups. 
  2. Circular design lowers the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). To this end, we developed an assessment framework that can indicate the degree of adaptability (Transformation Capacity) of a residential building. 
  3. We designed a financial model for a hybrid housing model with specific finmix. This can provide an answer to the existing affordability problem. 
  4. The project has opened a lot of doors to partners who can provide crucial input within the follow-up Hybrid Housing study. The project has made the concepts of 'split buying' and 'hybrid ownership models' negotiable.


  1. Scaling up circular business is only possible thanks to intense collaboration within the social pentagon, in this case: residents, housing cooperative, designers and implementers, managers, investors and local authorities. 
  2. The traditional way of property financing cannot offer anything that is affordable. It still requires high resident ownership and/or high monthly fees. 
  3. There are tax discriminations towards the hybrid housing model. For instance, an individual cannot take his housing bonus or registration fees with him. This form of housing is also currently not recognised as the sole owner-occupied dwelling. 
  4. Most (upper) local governments understand the urgency to expand the supply of affordable sustainable housing, but do not know what roles they can take up to support this goal.
1 Literature review
1 Design tool circularity
2 Broad communications
8 Conversations with financial actor


The follow-up dossier Hybrid Living has been approved by VLAIO for a Living Lab Circular Economy. This can be seen as a relaunch of the CESCO XL project in an even larger consortium and with even more focus on further practical elaboration of the hybrid housing model.