Opalis.be : an online inventory of the professional sector in salvaged building materials around Brussels.
Re-using building materials is a practice that is as old as building itself, so it should not be a surprise that the practice still exists in Brussels 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 around Brussels 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 in the Brussels Region 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. The scope of the website will be further enlarged in the following months. Given the local nature of the project, the website is bilingual French-Dutch.
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