New technology turns excavation waste into building material on-site

Dutch architecture firm Architectuur Maken built a new house in Rotterdam using bricks made from rubble in an effort to divert construction waste from landfill. The bricks were used on the facade of the home to blend in with the brick facades in the neighbourhood.

When designing their home located between two existing properties in the city centre, Dutch architects Nina Aalbers and Ferry in 't Veld of Architectuur Maken decided to match their building’s brick facade to their neighbours.

They sourced the bricks from StoneCycling, a company specialising in bricks made from recycled materials with fifteen tonnes of compacted industrial waste used to build the tall, skinny house. StoneCycling is a start-up founded by former Design Academy in Eindhoven students Tom van Soest and Ward Massa in 2013.

Working on the very first application of their WasteBasedBricks, the duo upcycled around 15 tonnes of waste ranging from ceramic to glass and clay, to create a set of caramel-toned bricks for the project. The company collects rejected materials from a 100-mile radius of their factory in the southeast of the Netherlands.

According to Nina Aalbers and Ferry in 't Veld, brickwork is one of the most preferred material for facades in the Netherlands. Additionally, Dutch architects are thinking of new sustainable ways to build, including houses that almost use no energy.

Measuring just over 4.5 metres wide and almost 9 metres deep, the new building is joined to the two residences on either side to form a terrace. The four-storey home has a floorplan of 120 square metres with each floor designed to be used as a single room. The kitchen and dining room are placed at ground level, while an office and bathroom are on the first floor. The living room occupies the whole of the second floor and the top floor is used as a bedroom and terrace.