Re-using building materials to renovate precarious housing

Posted on 11 April 2019.

The three architects at the head of FAIRE AVEC have set about renovating precarious and substandard housing thanks to unused materials sourced from building sites. Solidarity goes circular.

From electrical cables to tiles, windows and insulation - everything that can be reused is recovered.

Avoiding waste has become a priority in France. Food waste, clothing and even old toys now get a second lease of life. But there’s plenty of room for improvement - particularly in the building sector which produces some 50 million metric tons of waste a year!
And among that waste are new materials that are thrown away without even being used.
The three French architects who began FAIRE AVEC in 2017 decided to make use of this untapped source of building materials. They collect surplus new materials from building sites and use them to renovate precarious housing. Solidarity goes circular!
Clothilde Buisson, Gwenaëlle Rivière and Clara Piolatto are the founders of FAIRE AVEC. Their organization helps homeowners, dilapidated condominiums and housing shelters that are struggling with renovating their properties.
First step: examine the condition of the property that needs renovation. The three architects note any damage and defects and prioritize the works.
They next approach local companies and suppliers to source unused materials or stock being cleared that can be collected. Anything that can be reused is recovered: from electrical cables to tiles, windows and insulation. They even invite people with unused building materials on their hands to donate them.
The renovations are then carried out with a view to responding to the residents’ needs and expectations.

Achievements and an award

The first projects using collected materials have been completed. In Paris, the three founders of FAIRE AVEC are working on renovating rooms in the Georges Dunand accommodation and social reintegration center managed by Emmaüs, as well as the premises of the Comité Actions Logement in the 18th arrondissement. Only a few months after it was set up, FAIRE AVEC received its first award: the 2018 Cognacq-Jay Foundation award, which showcases social solidarity actions.