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A housing complex outside Paris is touted as the world’s first fully recycled concrete building

Concrete Technology

A housing complex outside Paris is touted as the world’s first fully recycled concrete building

Holcim, a Swiss provider of sustainable building solutions, has developed a concrete made with recycled construction and demolition waste, recycled wastewater, and rainwater.

By Novid Parsi, Contributing Editor | April 24, 2023
Recygénie - A housing complex outside Paris is touted as the world’s first fully recycled concrete building
To build Recygénie, Holcim will use a concrete it has developed in which all components—cement, aggregates, and water—are made of recycled materials.

Outside Paris, Holcim, a Swiss-based provider of innovative and sustainable building solutions, and Seqens, a social housing provider in France, are partnering to build Recygénie—a 220-unit housing complex, including 70 social housing units. Holcim is calling the project the world’s first fully recycled concrete building. 

To build Recygénie, Holcim will use a concrete it has developed in which all components—cement, aggregates, and water—are made of recycled materials. The organization says its recycled cement has saved about 3,000 tons of natural resources that would have been extracted from quarries. Holcim’s concrete—made with recycled aggregates from construction and demolition waste, recycled wastewater, and rainwater—has saved more than 6,000 tons of natural resources. 

“We need to shift gears: from a linear take-make-waste economy to a circular one, to improve living standards for all, while staying within our planet’s limits,” Edelio Bermejo, Holcim’s head of global R&D, said in a statement.

The Recygénie project is part of a renewal program launched by the City of Gennevilliers, located in the northwest suburbs of Paris. The project will offer new and diversified housing—including both social and private housing—as part of a redevelopment of the entire district. 

After creating cement with 20% recycled construction and demolition waste in Switzerland, Holcim has been working to scale the solution across Europe. Holcim says it aims to use fully recycled concrete across all its markets, adapting the solution to local building norms and material availability. In 2022, Holcim recycled 34 million tons of materials, 7 million tons of which were construction and demolition waste—turning these materials into new building solutions and alternative fuels. 

Construction of Recygénie is underway, with completion expected by the end of 2024.

On the Building Team:
Architect: A26 BLM
Owner and developer: Seqens
Engineer: Ingea
Control bureau: Qualiconsult
General contractor: Legendre

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