cirkla logo

for reuse
in construction



The association Bauteilnetz Schweiz was founded in 1995 as an umbrella organization for component exchanges in Switzerland.

After a period of passivity, the association was revived on the initiative of baubüro in situ: at the AGM of September 16, 2020, on the one hand, a new board was elected with representatives from component exchanges, architectural offices, educational institutions and other reuse service providers, and on the other hand, the statutes were adapted in such a way that the umbrella association will represent all reuse stakeholders in the future.

In May 2020, the FOEN-commissioned study ReRiWi( on the situation of reuse in the construction sector in Switzerland was published, showing how important reuse is for reducing construction waste and conserving resources. The study, led by Salza and Matériuum, involved more than 150 stakeholders in Switzerland with concrete experience in the reuse of building components: Private individuals, architects, demolition companies, recycling centers, teachers and members of organizations. One of the main recommendations of the study was the creation of an umbrella organization whose mission would be to support the reuse scene.

These two initiatives have come together under the name Cirkla to form a unified approach to promote the reuse of components and materials in the Swiss construction sector.

What is reuse?

Reuse processes in construction include adaptive reuse, conservative disassembly, and reuse of salvaged materials.

Reuse is an ancient tradition. Examples of reuse can be found in the Roman cities of late antiquity and later in the Middle Ages. One example is the Triumphal Arch of Constantine, built around the year 315 and located in Rome (Italy) in the immediate vicinity of the Colosseum. The monument can be considered a historical "museum" of Roman art, since most of the sculptures and decorations consist of elements taken from earlier triumphal monuments dedicated to the emperors Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius.

In architecture, adaptive reuse (also called building reuse) refers to the repurposing of an existing structure for a new use. For example, converting an old church into a restaurant, an old train station into an office, or an old windmill into a house. Adaptive reuse architecture breathes new life into historic structures by transforming them into something useful for the surrounding community, such as low-income housing, student housing, community centers, or mixed-use creative venues.