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Pioneering circular solutions for built environment through digitalization and locally sourced waste

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European Countries

Pioneering circular solutions for built environment through digitalization and locally sourced waste

A New European Project, RECONSTRUCT, has been launched to devise more sustainable alternatives to ordinary steel and cement.
Serena Balbo

The construction industry is a major contributor to environmental degradation, responsible for 30% of global natural resource extraction, 25% of solid waste generation, and 40% of worldwide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. In a move to mitigate the ecological repercussions of this sector, the European Union has allocated almost six million euros to fuel the RECONSTRUCT project. The main goal is to optimise the incorporation of construction and demolition waste (CDW) in the creation and renovation of architectural structures.

To do this, RECONSTRUCT creates building elements that can be recycled and disassembled, promoting a virtuous cycle wherein locally procured materials are repurposed at the end of a construction's lifecycle. This paradigm shift facilitates local processes, bolstered by the establishment of a value chain amongst local stakeholders. The project will deploy a suite of digital tools to identify, quantify, and assess potential reservoirs of waste. Notably, the creation of a digital product tracker for construction will document and disseminate critical data across the product's lifecycle, aligning design considerations with the circularity principles.

To validate its research and methodologies, the consortium will construct two prototype buildings – one in Green Energy Park, Brussels, and the other at Mogoda's Castle, Barcelona using pioneering materials, components and tools. Regional clusters of political, economic, and industrial leaders manage the construction process in the case studies to achieve circularity.

"Circular economy principles are the blueprint for a sustainable future in the construction industry. Through innovative projects like RECONSTRUCT, we're not just building structures; we're constructing a more sustainable world, where resources are maximized, waste is minimized, and our planet's health is safeguarded for generations to come", says José Lucas Masero, RECONSTRUCT’s coordinator.

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Building Renovation
Construction materials and circular construction