This building in Amsterdam is almost 100% reusable

Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has completed Matrix One, a six-storey energy-efficient office and laboratory building with more than 120,000 reusable components.

The building is the largest of the seven buildings that make up the Matrix Innovation Center at Amsterdam Science Park, which serves as a hub for scientists and entrepreneurs developing solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Matrix One is designed for disassembly: almost everything, from doors and windows to ceilings and furniture, is completely demountable and reusable. Even the floors are made of prefabricated concrete slabs with no fixed joints – they can be simply unscrewed and removed.

MVRDV teamed up with Dutch startup Madaster to create ‘material passports’ for the building. These digital IDs store important information about each part, such as weight, dimensions and material characteristics, which promotes efficient reuse later on.

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Once the building reaches the end of its useful life or is renovated, these components may be available for purchase on a second-hand marketplace (think eBay for buildings). According to MVRDV, 90% of the building’s materials can be reused.

We hope that in the future all buildings will work like this,” says MVRDV partner Frans de Witte.

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