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This week, deconstruction works have started on the Multi Tower, (formerly known as the Phillips Tower) in downtown Brussels. Whitewood, the developer in charge of the redevelopment of this 1969 building by Groupe Structures, has set ambitious targets with regards to material reuse. Most importantly, the decision was taken not to demolish the existing structure, but rather to adapt it intelligently. On top of that, Rotor worked hand in hand with architects Conix RDBM to maximise the reuse of finishing materials. A target was set to spent minimum 2% of the budget for finishing materials on reclaimed materials, an ambitious goal for a project of this scale.

First, a detailed inventory was made of materials present on site. Quite a number of these materials will be reused in the new project. Several innovative applications of the existing materials were conceived. The aluminium facade cladding, for instance, will be in part be transformed in an interior balustrade and a series of chandeliers. The sanitary devices are being demounted and will be disinfected through a newly developed process of ‘deep cleaning’. By submersion in a chemical bath, all calcium deposits are removed. Further more, vast quantities of suspended ceiling will be stored on site for reinstallation later.

Secondly, a number of reclaimed materials have been sourced outside of the existing building. Acoustic ceiling panels from the ‘De Ligne’ Building, 1000 square meter of reclaimed exterior paving, granite floors from the now demolished Generale de Banque, large quantities of recent fire doors from the nearby WTC III Building, and large quantities of salvaged hardwood are but a few examples.

Lastly, an important effort is made to carefully deconstructed all reusable and superfluous materials for use on other sites. These materials will be sold later this year by Rotor Deconstruction.

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