Cooperative and collaborative
Rotor DC is a cooperative company which is entirely owned by its employees. They aspire to non-hierarchical forms of collaboration and this idea is a driving force in the development of their organization.
Based in Brussels, Rotor DC seeks to collaborate with contractors, non-profits and other companies, and to become a central part of a regional ecosystem for large scale reuse of building materials. While at the start in 2014, Rotor DC almost exclusively sold materials dismantled by their own workers, their shop now also trades materials from several other suppliers such as demolition contractors and real estate companies.
More than just materials
By trading in salvaged materials, Rotor DC helps reduce the quantity of demolition waste, while offering quality building materials that have a negligible environmental impact.
Many of their materials are cheaper than new for the same quality. Some materials are equally expensive as new, but come with a great story, a deep patina or simply a clear conscience. And then, from time to time, they offer for sale pieces that were conceived by renowned designers, or created by skilled craftsmen, or made using technologies now out of reach.
Rotor DC has a strict policy with regards to exceptional architecture, and never get involved in demolition projects before they obtain the proper permits. The company fully supports maintenance and refurbishment strategies for existing buildings. They require documentation of ownership on all of the materials that transit through their shop.
Developing new sets of skills
While reusing building materials is as old as construction itself, building materials and techniques have significantly evolved since. Rotor DC develops deconstruction techniques, logistical systems and remanufacturing installations for contemporary building materials, with a focus on finishing materials.
Rotor DC specializations include:
– Repair and transformation of lighting equipment;
– A state of the art method for removing mortar from ceramic tiles;
– The reprocessing of high quality ‘urban’ wood;
– Cleaning and preparing for reuse of furniture and building hardware, sanitary equipment;
– Planning and organizing of salvage operations in large and complicated buildings.
"At our start in 2014, we demounted every material we sold ourselves. But then we saw the light: if the ambition is to help the entire local construction sector to adopt more circular material practices, there is no way we can do all the deconstruction on our own".
In 2019 we made a new plan: to open up our shop and workshops to products that were demounted by third parties. The first year the impact was modest. But in 2020, about 13% of our sales were brought in by third parties such as private home owners or contractors. When we sell these things, half of the proceeds of the sale are transferred to the depositors. That means that roughly 6,5% of our income last year went straight back to home renovators and (mostly small) contractors. Good for us, good for them, and it’s keeping a whole lot of doors out of the incinerator." - Rotor Deconstructions
Reduce, Re-use, Repair & Remanufacture
Do you want to know more about this organization? Please visit their website: https://rotordc.com/