An online inventory of the professional sector in salvaged building materials
Reusing building materials is a practice that is as old as building itself, so it should not be a surprise that the practice still exists today. But its potential is often overlooked. Much trade in used materials occurs informally between private individuals or small contractors, but there are also various companies who have specialized in buying and selling specific salvaged materials. Because we felt that the sector as a whole is realizing only a very small part of its theoretical potential, both in terms of collecting salvaged materials as in offering these materials for sale, we visited dozens of dealers in second hand building materials to gather information. We brought the results together in an online guide: Opalis.be.
With Opalis we want to bridge the gap between second hand dealers and commissioners, architects, and building contractors. We believe knowing these dealers is crucial to anybody interested in strategies of reuse. Thanks to their expertise and services, they make salvaging building materials easier to organize and less risky.
The site contains detailed information and images of all dealers in a one-hour-drive radius around Brussels, as well as information on different types of materials. Since the first rounds of visits in 2012, the scope of the website has been enlarged and now covers the whole Belgian territory, France and Netherlands.
Team Opalis at Rotor:
Lionel Billet, Benjamin Lasserre, Koen Berghmans, Tine Segers, Michaël Ghyoot, Tristan Boniver, Maarten Gielen, Adeline Van Hoof, Eva Neefs, Arne Vande Capelle, Louise Huba, Robrecht Verstraete, Stijn Colon.
Through the time, many partners have helped developing Opalis: Atelier 4/5, Bellastock, the students of the AA school.
With the support of:
Bruxelles Environnement, Fonds Duurzaam Materialen- en Energiebeheer, Brussels Capital Region as part of the "Programme Régional d’Économie Circulaire" (PREC, mesure RD15), OVAM as part of Vlaanderen Circulair. Since January 2019, the international development of Opalis is made possible thanks to the support of Interreg NWE, as part of the FRCBE project.