We are a cooperative that organises the reuse of construction materials. We dismantle, process and trade salvaged building components.
Cooperative and collaborative
Rotor DC is a cooperative company which is entirely owned by its employees. We are based in Brussels, and we attempt to be as generous with this city as it is with us. We seek to collaborate with contractors, non-profits and other companies, and to become a central part of a regional ecosystem for large scale reuse of building materials. While at the start in 2014, we almost exclusively sold materials dismantled by our own workers, our shop now also trades materials from several other suppliers such as demolition contractors and real estate companies.
Rotor DC’s work is carried out by four dedicated teams.
– The Acquisition team focuses on sourcing sustainable materials and establishing partnerships.
– The Process team handles the materials physically on site (restores, refurbishes and describes them with attention to quality and organization).
– The Shop team handles marketing, customer service, storage, and delivery.
– Our Support team manages accounting, HR, IT, and subsidies.
Together, we ensure efficient operations and provide sustainable solutions to our customers.
More than just materials
By trading in salvaged materials, we help reduce the quantity of demolition waste, while offering quality building materials that have a negligible environmental impact.
Many of our materials are cheaper than new for the same quality. Some materials are equally expensive as new, but come with a great story, a deep patina or simply a clear conscience. And then, from time to time, we offer for sale pieces that were conceived by renowned designers, or created by skilled craftsmen, or made using technologies now out of reach. These pieces are priced a bit higher, but we hope the economies made with our more generic materials help bring them in reach of the many.
We have a strict policy with regards to exceptional architecture, and never get involved in demolition projects before they obtain the proper permits. We fully support maintenance and refurbishment strategies for existing buildings. We require documentation of ownership on all of the materials that transit through our shop.
Developing new sets of skills
While reusing building materials is as old as construction itself, building materials and techniques have significantly evolved since. We develop deconstruction techniques, logistical systems and remanufacturing installations for contemporary building materials, with a focus on finishing materials.
Our specialisations include
– repair and transformation of lighting equipment,
– a state of the art method for removing mortar from ceramic tiles
– the reprocessing of high quality ‘urban’ wood
– cleaning and preparing for reuse of furniture and building hardware, sanitary equipment
– planning and organising of salvage operations in large and complicated buildings
Rotor Deconstruction is an autonomous side-project that emanates from Rotor, a Brussels-based non-profit firm engaged in promoting and facilitating the reuse of building components as a strategy on the path towards a more resource-efficient materials economy. Since 2012, Rotor has been documenting existing dealers of secondhand building materials in Belgium and in neighbouring countries. The results are published on opalis.eu.
Through this study, we realised that despite the high level of professionalisation of the sector, many dealers are focusing on rustic materials destined for the domestic rural market. Few were geared towards selling what comes out of large building compounds of the service sector, which then and now makes up the bulk of demolition debris in metropolitan areas like the Brussels Region. Rotor Deconstruction grew out of the realisation that certain dots needed urgent connection.
Current collaborators :
Mounji Berrahal, Lionel Billiet, Charlotte Bonduel, Leo Cojean, Pascale Damsin, Nicolas Desart, Christophe Escalé, Cécile Guichard, Loula Hesse, Patrick Thinsy, Louis Emauré, Benoît Molherat, Kianoosh Motallebi, Sebastien Paulet, Mathilde Roman, Margot Saulnier, Victoria Van Kan, Raphael Wagnon.
Interns : Arturas Certovas, Clea Samson
We have also worked with :
Emma Joly, Nicolas Schiltz, Romann Acacia, Barbara Calonger, Emmanuel Cortes Garcia, Caroline De Decker, Camille De Jerphanion, Maarten Gielen, Quentin Lemarchand, Elie Maissin, Florence Meessen, Luna Pittau, Sylvain Regout, Daniel Van Drimmelen, Adeline Van Hoof, Pierre-Yves Volont.
Interns : Caspar Zimmer, Sara Zerguine, Cléo Hesse, Tina Athari, Giulia Rosa, Luigi Bisogno, Zoe Van Der Pas, Sarah Tilley, Theo Dellicour, Louise Huba, Katja Lorencic, Andrée Goldschmidt, Vincent Vergote, Timothée Raviol, David Regnier, Alexis Mazin, Victoria Denimal, Camille Drion Du Chapois, Manal Makhoul, Raid Boussouf, Ian Tshimbila-Lolekonda.
We are regularly on the lookout for new profiles, for internships within our 4 teams, deconstruction missions or more specific research projects. Please feel free to send us your spontaneous applications to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2015, given by the LOCUS Foundation, under the protection of UNESCO.
Blueprint Architecture award 2015, given by Blueprint Magazine London.
Maaskant Prijs 2015, given to Maarten Gielen on behalf of Rotor by the mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb.
Silver Publica Award in the category “Most Sustainable Public Market,” given at Publica 2016 in Brussels.
Life cycle in practice Award in the category recycling, given at ECOCIR 2016 in Gembloux.
Ecodesign Pro Award 2016, attributed by Ovam, the waste administration of the Flemish Region
Henry van de Velde Company Award 2016, received during the award ceremony on January 19th, 2017.
2018 Schelling Architecture award.
Prix du Cercle Braville, 2022.
Nominated at the Trends Gazelles Awards in the "Small businesses for Brussels" category, 2023.