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Tremblay-en-France: a local and circular deconstruction

While for years the construction sector has been based on a linear economy, Goodman is now committed to develop, own and manage circular buildings. Indeed, we choose to redevelop brownfields to limit the impact on natural land, while also paying careful attention to minimise waste during the demolition phase of old buildings.

The Tremblay-en-France site, located at 30 km from Paris city centre, was acquired by Goodman in 2021 to replace the former Heidelberg printing offices and warehouse situated there. The demolition of the brownfield’s office buildings started in June 2021, aiming to recover 100% of the waste from the circular deconstruction operation through reuse, recycling or energy recovery. The objective goes well beyond the regulatory rate of 70% in France with the remaining 30% being landfill waste.

The early stages

The circular deconstruction of Tremblay-en-France required an extensive preparation phase prior to the actual demolition of the building. We started with a robust diagnosis of materials and waste, in line with French legislation, to identify, quantify and categorise all available resources used in the building. Then, we selected a demolition company with the right expertise and a rigorous approach to circular demolition to meet the expectations of the circular economy players. In collaboration with the demolition company, we selected suitable companies –SMEs and start-ups – which could process these resources based on the results of the diagnosis. This way of working allowed us to contractually agree with our partners on the exact waste recovery objectives. The actual demolition of the building began after these initial stages.

An ambitious project

Circular deconstruction is more time-consuming than traditional deconstruction because the building needs to be carefully cleaned to identify and distinguish between the different resources. This called for a larger and more specialised workforce. The deconstruction also demanded the use of specific deconstruction methods, tools and machinery. Finally, particular attention was also given in terms of storage and waste sorting so as to avoid degradation of materials, which would render their recovery impossible. During the demolition phase 16 types of waste were distinguished and stored in temporary storage areas on site.

Figure Widget


overall recovery rate

50 tons

of reused or reemployed materials

Figure Widget

7,900 tons

recycled materials

105 tons

energy recovery rate

Three forms of recovery 

Three different recovery methods were used, according to the types of waste. 50 tons of materials were selected for reemployment or reuse. Items such as modular partition walls, raised floors, (fire) doors, and kitchen equipment were selected. For some of these materials, repair work was necessary to give them a second life. Wood, glass, ceramics, concrete, carpets, plaster and steel were recycled to give life to new materials.7,900 tons of materials were recycled during the operation. Thirdly, some materials that could not be recycled, such as carpet tiles, were recovered for energy purposes to replace non-renewable fossil fuels. In total, we recovered 105 tonnes of waste in this way. Overall the operation achieved a recovery rate of 99.1% (in mass). Although our ambition is to divert 100% of construction waste from landfill by 2022 and to have circular demolitions by 2030, the Tremblay-en-France project can be called a success as a pioneering operation, an experimental laboratory contributing to the development of a circular economy in France.

 For all pictures and video: ©Dronepress/WEPA/Goodman