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Circular building: 't Centrum

The project

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In 2019, Kamp C organised a circular procurement process in order to start with the preparations to build the very first circular Belgian building: "’t Centrum". This building will contain as many as possible pillars of the circular construction. The initiator Kamp C will set up a fascinating and innovative learning process around the building itself and its building process. Kamp C will fulfill this together with a lot of partners. The idea is to be an inspiration to the whole construction industry.

What is it about?

In 2021, Kamp C will start building “’t Centrum” on its site in Westerlo. The innovative building has to become the catalyst for the circular construction in Flanders and far beyond. Moreover, the upcoming years, there will be possibilities for other circular construction projects as well around this hotspot for building innovation.

What’s the goal?

Circular construction in Flanders is still in its infancy …  We have to admit, it does not stand anymore at the very beginning, but we cannot say either that is has been integrated yet. By providing a broad view on the circular construction possibilities and by building the very first circular building itself, Kamp C wants to launch the innovative and sustainable way of building in Flanders. The pilot project “’t Centrum” will provide people with the necessary insights in the obstacles and solutions in order to accelerate the very needed circular transition in the construction industry.

An integrated project

“’t Centrum” takes into account all the aspects of circular construction. Kamp C merged these aspects in seven pillars:

tcentrum_iconen_overzicht EN

CIRCULAR DESIGN:

To design building elements in a way that the building is dynamic and changeable, remountable and modular and acts as temporary storage of materials at the same time.

CIRCULAR FINANCING:

Different kinds of financing through total cost of ownership, life cycle cost, investments that are paid by savings or earnings in time, deposit on materials and leasing formulas.

CIRCULAR WORKING:

To offer working spaces as a service. The office is furnished both open and dynamic with a hightec support. Communication and connection with other employees and companies are central.

CIRCULAR MATERIALS:

Materials that are regrowable, reusable, recyclable or upcyclable so that they stay in the loop as long as possible.

CIRCULAR BUSINESS MODEL:

To purchase products as a service where the producer retains ownership and is also responsible for the maintenance and the take-back.

CIRCULAR PROCUREMENT:

A range of open formulated ambitions with a fixed budget, challenge the market to build a consortium and to introduce innovative building solutions themselves.

CIRCULAR AREA DEVELOPMENTS:

To classify an area based on the present material, rest, waste or energy flows by which surpluses or wastes of one can serve as raw material for the other.

The advantages:

“’t Centrum” has a lot of benefits in store, not only for the environment, but also for the future users. The company building will of course be sustainable and energy-neutral with a lot of incoming light and surrounded by greenery.

It will contain a modular office layout and transformable workplaces. Adjustments will be easily done without adding a lot of extra energy or new materials. The building itself can be completely dismantled as well. Both the design and the materials, as well as the connections were chosen in this consideration.

Moreover, “’t Centrum” will be testing new business models. For example, it will be possible to lease light from the deliverers. This will stimulate the production of sustainable products. The result: a much lower energy consumption, an increased lifetime, simple maintenance and the possibility of reuse.

All the used materials can be found in a Building Information Model (BIM) and in a materials passport. BIM is a digital model that centralizes all the data of a building and that all the construction partners work together with. The financing is partly done from the circular business models.

Who is involved?

For this project, forces were united in a large group of partners. As for the preliminary stage and the tendering process, OVAM (Flemish public waste company) was a co-financer and also Thomas More College was involved. Besides these 2, various experts in circular construction will help shape the building. Mainly, the winning consortium will do so.

Stakeholder consultations and masterclasses as preparation

As a preparation for the tendering process, Kamp C organised stakeholder consultations on 12 June 2018, where the process and ambitions for the circular building were presented and checked off.

In June, September and October 2018, 5 masterclasses took place with a lot of inspiring speakers and cases. But also through workshops and assignments, all aspects of circular construction were addressed.

How did the tendering process go?

For the tendering process, Kamp C collaborated with the advisory consultancy agency Alba Concepts.

Alba Concepts supported Kamp C in organising the masterclasses, in the elaboration of the financial and legal aspects of the procurement, in the preparation of the necessary tender documents, etc.

In November 2018, we threw our selection guide on the market in order to select 3 construction consortia for the next step in the procurement process. In February, we closed the applications with a very nice result: no less than 7 consortia with a total number of approximately 50 companies had applied!

After this, we put together a jury of 6 people, led by an independant chairman. They assigned a score to the teams, as objective as possible. This turned out to be no easy task, as all the consortia disposed of a lot of capacities, expertise and knowledge of the various aspects of circular construction. You can read more about the chosen consortia here.

Round of dialogue and award

After the selection of 3 consortia, the dialogue session took place. Kamp C had an individual conversation with them twice. The purpose of these conversations was to remove all ambiguities in the procurement documents and to optimise the solutions appropriate to the need.

Before the start of the conversations, Kamp C had shared a first draft of the procurement documents with the consortia. This draft specifically described our expectations. So this was the starting point for the consortia to prepare themselves.

The broad outlines of the task and plans of the providers were discussed during the conversations. The starting points of the dialogue discussion were:

  • A two-way conversation to question each other
  • Focus on the success factors of the task and the possible risks that might stand in the way of success

Thanks to this dialogue, Kamp C was able to improve the tender documents. To be able to do this, the feedback from the consortia was essential! Moreover, the suppliers were also able to improve their concept as well.

After the round of dialogue, the providers still had time to finalize their offer before the submission in November 2019. They also got the opportunity to clarify their design through a presentation. Then there was an individual evaluation, followed by a consensus meeting. The result was that the consortium “Kamp Circulair” was chosen. This consortium is composed of 7 companies, with the construction company Beneens, TENStreng-thMuurtuinWest ArchitectuurTenerga and VITO.

More info on the awarding can be found here.

Groepsfoto20210616 (002)

't Centrum is open!

After the tender, Kamp C started working with the winning consortium to develop the design, determine the materials and techniques to be used and the final layout.

The construction works of 't Centrum started in May 2021. The building was officially opened in May 2022.

Kamp C is realizing this together with a consortium of 7 companies and organisations. With a well-considered circular design and a conscious choice of materials, techniques and innovative business models, it should become a catalyst for circular construction in Flanders and beyond. More details can be found in the press release.

Press release: Kamp C - Maypole placed on first circular office building in Flanders

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