TU Delft saves tons of CO2 with refurbished furniture
Giving used furniture a new life. In a nutshell, that’s what the Circular Hub - Royal Ahrend’s circular expertise centre - is all about. For example, our Revived label brings used furniture back to the market and revitalises old furniture for clients. The Delft University of Technology commissioned us to furnish twelve floors of the Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Information Technology faculty with their existing furniture. This means a saving of 108 tonnes in CO2 emissions compared to completely new furniture. This is equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from 166 Dutch households.
Project in figures
- Furniture from 12 floors refurbished
- Inventory of 27 shipping containers of used furniture
- 767 items of furniture from TU Delft refurbished
- Saving of 108 tonnes of CO2
Existing furniture reused
The faculty is situated in a 23-floor building. This building, the tallest on campus, has been renovated and furnished with as much used furniture as possible. To this end, we shipped 27 containers of used cabinets, chairs, tables and other furniture to the Circular Hub in Veghel. Each item of furniture was examined and assessed by one of our circular specialists. Some of the furniture that was inspected only needed a deep clean, while other items required repairs. Ahrend returned incomplete furniture to good condition once more.
Refurbishment of furniture
Every item of used furniture was inspected. The refurbishment of the TU Delft chairs and tables included:
- (Deep) cleaning
- Fitting missing parts
‘Our approach has saved 108 tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to the energy consumption of 166 households over the course of a year.’
Project plan and schedule
We hear from Tom van den Akker, circular consultant and project manager at Ahrend: ‘As well as revitalising existing furniture, Ahrend added value by drafting a project plan and schedule. The project was delivered in four stages. We worked ‘behind’ the contractor. This required oversight of which sets of furniture or workstations were to be supplied where and when. The delivery of refurbished, Revived and new furniture was harmonised. In this way, the Ahrend Furniture Service Team could install everything stage by stage, and floor by floor. We organised the delivery as efficiently as possible in order to reduce the transport mileage and CO2 emissions.’
Like a partner
The client’s reaction demonstrates that this has worked. Liset Stolwijk, Relocation and Furnishing Project Manager at TU Delft: ‘Ahrend took a lot of pressure off us with this project. They were a massive help to me with project management and planning. It was not an easy task for the contractor to complete each floor according to schedule. This involved moving things around, adapting and maintaining oversight. Ahrend has been a very flexible partner.’
108 tonnes of CO2 saved
Thanks to the ideal collaboration between TU Delft and Ahrend, the faculty has an optimum blend of circular furniture: new, Revived and their own refurbished faculty furniture. Tom: ‘This has kept the environmental footprint of the new interior as small as possible. After the completion of the project, we calculated the CO2. Our approach has saved 108 tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to the energy consumption of 166 households over the course of a year. We’re very proud that we have contributed, along with the client, to reducing CO2 and completing the circle.’
Vitalising work environment
And last but not least: the result. How has it gone down? Liset Stolwijk: ‘A beautiful new work environment has been created with excellent work and study areas. The entire faculty is now uniform in terms of the style and colour scheme. The open spaces make it a pleasant, vitalising work environment.’
Circular Hub - New step towards circular business model
At the Circular Hub, the circular expertise centre of Royal Ahrend, we reuse and valorise all of the residual and waste flows. As such, around 40 to 50,000 items of furniture are given a new life every year. By refurbishing rather than manufacturing new products, we achieve an annual CO2 reduction of 40 - 90%.