SUEZ carried out with Bouygues the 1st French selective deconstruction site in a confined space with nine sorting flows

Bouygues Construction launched a project to renovate a 4,800m2 site in Greater Paris. The goal of the project was to replace demolition with selective deconstruction by identifying materials at source, sorting them and sending them to the appropriate recovery channels in order to involve the complete chain of players in the circular economy. It was the first project in France in a confined space to benefit from these unprecedented levels of separation and recovery with nine sorting flows.
The mission

Deconstruct a building with the ambitious target of reaching a waste recovery and reuse rate in excess of 70%

In 2015, SUEZ launched the NExtMat project in the Open Lab Ideas Laboratory®, with the aim of developing new materials recovery solutions that turn waste into resources. The project was perfectly in line with the French law on the energy transition and green growth, passed on 17 August 2015, with a view to recovering 70% of construction and demolition waste as materials by 2020. Waste management has become a major issue for public and private organisations tasked with large-scale development and civil works projects.


The Bouygues Group, which faces the problem of building waste in its construction activities (assembly, real estate, renovation, construction), teamed up with SUEZ to examine the keys to the successful reorganisation of the sector.


SUEZ and Bouygues Rénovation Privée joined forces in an experimental project to renovate a site measuring about 4,800 m2 in the heart of Neuilly in Greater Paris, by selectively deconstructing a building in a confined space with only one skip available on the work site.


The challenge consisted of setting up an operational organisation to separate the waste produced on-site in order to achieve a material recovery rate in excess of 70%, while also meeting the regulations that will come into force in 2020.

million tonnes
of waste are produced by the construction sector in France every year
Source: FF Bâtiment
the legal target for the recovery of waste in the construction sector by 2020
Our solution

An original solution to sort nine material flows at source and to identify and organise the recovery channels nationwide

Monitoring of the sorting process and traceability of the flows

The SUEZ teams opted for the selective sorting of the materials on-site as and when they were dismantled, in order to optimise the sorting and evacuation of the waste in this very confined space.


Selective deconstruction and the control of the sorting of products and waste demand close oversight of the operations (waste processing sites, secure storage, traceability, sales corners or donations, etc.).

The different types of materials (cables, rubble, glazing, etc.) were sorted and grouped together on each floor under the watchful eye of a person, known as the “green man”, a technician ensuring that the on-site sorting operations ran smoothly.


Each type of material was then picked up in turn and taken to a mass groupage and logistics platform on SUEZ’s site in Gennevilliers.

Identification and organisation of the recovery channels

Organising a re-use and recovery channels for deconstruction materials involves switching from a "waste-based" to a "resource-based" vision and more collaborative ways of working together.
It was necessary to first analyse the economy of these “resource” products for the deconstruction site, but also on a regional scale, in order to guarantee that the ecosystem would make financial sense for all the players involved and for the recovery and re-use project.


74.6% of the materials were recycled and re-used by entering partnerships with the local recycling channels (Sibelco for glass and plasterboard), Group subsidiaries (NextMetal, which recycles used cables to produce 99.8% pure copper to make high-quality cables) and eco-organisations, such as Valdelia for the recovery of used office furniture, and Recylum for the recycling of lamps and professional electrical equipment.

The results

A new made-to-measure waste management solution that puts the circular economy at the heart of work sites

The experimental project between Bouygues Construction et SUEZ provided an opportunity to conduct a life-sized test of the viability and the suitability of these new solutions in the design phase, before actual implementation. The solution highlighted SUEZ’s expertise in consultancy and support in the realm of the circular economy and regulatory compliance.


The project, which was finalised in 2017, was the first ever work site in France in a confined space that achieved such unprecedented levels of separation and recovery: 9 flows of materials sorted for re-use and recycling and the recovery of 74.6% of the building materials on the site.

of waste sorted for re-use and recycling
of materials recovered in the deconstruction phase
of deconstruction work
“More than ever before, the building industry must address societal, social and environmental issues. We have decided to take up these challenges on a daily basis and in every phase of our projects. The deployment of a circular economy in the group is a logical part of this process. For both Bouygues and SUEZ, the challenge consists of combining the quality of service of a major group and local presence close to the teams in the field. There will be no doubt about the content and the quality of the technical expertise, but it is the quality of the human relations on an everyday basis that will make the difference.”
Circular Economy Project Manager - Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France
recovery materials schema

batiRIM®: a digital solution for the selective deconstruction of buildings

On the strength of this experience, and in an effort to take the organisation and management of resources even further, the SUEZ Group has developed a genuinely unique approach to the deconstruction of buildings with batiRIM®. The batiRIM® digital solution quantifies, qualifies and maps the flows of products and materials from buildings being renovated, redeveloped or deconstructed and assesses their potential for reuse and recycling, before the works even start.

Thanks to this anticipatory approach and the digital modelling of material flows, SUEZ hopes to achieve safe, compliant selective deconstruction.
More about batiRIM®