Green Transformable Building Lab (GTBL)

A transformable steel framed building module with exchangeable components

Follow the development of GTBL in the Pilot Project Blog.


  • Testing the transformation of the shape, size, and function of a building
    through the use of Reversible Building Design protocols and standards
  • Investigate needs and requirements of the local stakeholders to develop
    new business models


  1. New Construction,
    assembled and transformed once


  1. Single module size: 24 m² (2019); potential subsequent up-scaling


  1. Multifunctional space for changing daily uses, such as work lounge, meeting space, lecture hall and housing unit


  1. ODS Klockner, Ridderkerk, The Netherlands



Realised in the framework of the GTB innovation centre for circular building in Heerlen, the Green Transformable Building Lab (GTB Lab) module has been developed around a reversible multifunctional steel frame which was filled by independent, exchangeable, standardised and reversible floor, facade and roof components.

To date, a single module has been built with the newly developed components: universal steel profile, standardised reversible wooden cassette, glass heated façade. The GTBL is intended to be up scaled subsequently.


Green Transformable Building Lab developed, test and demonstrate reversible building design e.g. building Products and elements in an operational environment.

In order to provide independence and exchangeability of building elements, the pilot focused on the reversibility of interfaces between different building components, the standardisation
of connections and dimensions of exchangeable components.


GTB Lab investigates the development of entirely new circular products by completely switching from the traditional construction approach. The Lab was designed as an open
platform. By introducing plugins in building components, the structure was and will be able to change form and function. It can adjust its configuration to the required performance
without substantial loss of value of materials while providing optimal comfort, healthy climate, and local energy production.

The joint participation of the construction industry in the development of the GTB LAB enabled the investigation of new business and operational models that makes a circular
project feasible.


The module was built in Barendrecht, Netherlands. Since its construction in December 2018, the flexible and evolving structure was transformed once. In the future, the construction is intended to be scaled up, receive a specific functionality, and eventually be transformed several times. Today, the footprint of the metal as a material for Construction is assessed based on the end of life recycling scenario. The biggest achievement of the GTB Lab is to demonstrate the necessity to change these assumptions. Not only should the reuse scenario be taken into consideration, but the impact of upgradable standardized modular systems and exchangeable components should be integrated and enhanced in the calculation. Their implementation is likely to drastically reduce the material footprint and waste creation.


The standardisation, universal connections between different elements, and the correlation between the lifespan of materials are solutions that can be integrated in the construction
industry of tomorrow.

Construction of GTBL – Slideshow

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