Circular tenders for school construction projects? Yes, we can!

Increased support for circular building principles

Studies show that with our world population, we use more raw materials and produce more waste than our planet can handle.

Both Bureau Bouwtechniek and the University of Antwerp have for many years now had the ambition to integrate sustainability into their day-to-day activities. Hence the initiative to work together on solutions to place less of a burden on our planet in the future.

With this research project, we want to encourage a wider public to build in a more circular way and address as many players in the building process as possible.

Specifically, we want to focus on an inventory of circular products and services, as well as create greater support for circular building principles by raising awareness among the various construction partners in building projects about the topic.

Bureau Bouwtechniek

Partners Universiteit Antwerpen (Faculteit Toegepaste Ingenieurswetenschappen, Onderzoeksgroep Energy & Materials in Infrastructure and Buildings)





  1. After market research, we inventoried the circular materials and products and incorporated them into an online overview on This inventory offers interested parties a clear overview and shows the many possibilities within circular building.
  2. By documenting materials that are (or will be) demolished in an inventory and actively looking for possible re-users, we offer many materials an added value and a second life.
  3. We conducted a number of interesting case studies in which we could test our theory in practice, although on a smaller scale. These practical examples were an essential and very instructive reality check.
  4. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and Life Cycle Cost (LCC) offer the client many additional insights into the valorisation of sustainability, as opposed to merely the investment cost. It gives him the scientific support to make choices that take the environmental impact into account.


  1. It is important that the audit and material analysis of an existing building on the project site is done before the terms of reference, or at least before the start of the design. This will stimulate much more the reuse of the building and/or its materials.
  2. The principles of circular construction should be supported by all players who participate in the construction project. Clear and convincing communication about these circular principles will help determine the success rate of the integration.
  3. There are not always three or more independent circular products available to be able to prescribe a circular proposal in public procurement. A performance tender sometimes offers a solution.
  4. It is possible to invite tenders with an imposed upper limit for cost price and to assess these on the basis of LCC and LCA. It has a stimulating effect if the client or designer actively questions the market.
189 recycled materials


Thanks to the project, we currently have two full-time equivalent employees providing advice on circular construction. The new service within our consultancy offers an answer to the demand for LCA and LCC studies as well as for guidance in design and product development. We therefore continue to focus both internally and externally on the integration of the circular economy in the construction sector.

The case study campus Paardenmarkt will be followed up further, and we will incorporate the final results and the course of the project in a presentation with a view to sharing knowledge.

We will also continue to focus on sharing knowledge about circular developments in current projects through lectures and learning networks. We will also maintain the links we have formed with knowledge and government agencies and thus contribute to a structured transition to a circular construction world.