Getting ahead in the transition

Scheme for getting ahead in the transition

Getting ahead in the transition

In order to achieve a construction sector that is truly organised according to the principles of a circular economy, some fundamental system changes are needed. However, the transition is still in its infancy. Therefore, it is not yet clear which aspects will be part of a circular construction sector in the future. Circular construction requires innovative, smart and intensive ways of collaborating, sharing information and creating value.

Within a project, you can choose to take a pioneering role in this and help accelerate the transition by building up practical experience. We define 3 subtopics that can be used:

  • Looking for synergies
  • Sharing and managing information
  • Innovative business models and construction processes

"The entire KULeuven Living Lab was modelled in BIM. The final as-built model was delivered and made centrally accessible to all parties involved."

BIM model Living Lab KUL

Looking for synergies

Preventing and reducing energy and material consumption is definitely at the top of the list of circular strategies. It is clear that we can limit the impact the most by ‘not building’. To enable this, we need to think about possible synergies during the early design phase or sometimes even during the project definition. Can we bring together certain processes, activities, product flows, waste flows, energy flows, etc. to enable higher efficiency and resource savings? Sharing functions or collective systems can provide material and energy savings.

materiaal- en gebouwen-paspoort

Sharing and managing information

Architect Thomas Rau’s statement ‘Waste is material without identity’ shows how crucial information is if we want to move towards a circular economy. Making this information available digitally and managing it will be decisive in being able to bring materials, products or buildings back into circulation. The materials and/or building passport can help with this. But also in the use phase, "information" can help in the efficient use and management of a building. In this way, we can use information and data management to save material and energy.

circulaire businessmodellen en samenwerking

Innovative business models and construction processes

The circular economy requires business models that help to preserve the value of the products and materials as much as possible. In addition, they should  promote the closing of cycles so that our economic growth is no longer dependent on the extraction of raw materials. Moreover, to be successful, this requires all actors in the value chain to work together. Consequently, the way of tendering and the organisation of the construction process must be allow for this. Finally, the way costs are looked at, also plays an important role.