Green Deal Circular Building delivered 160 circular construction projects


160 circular building projects, that is the result of 4 years of Green Deal Circular Construction and the efforts of 360 organisations going for circular (re)construction in Flanders. This was therefore celebrated at the closing event in Mechelen. A nice endpoint to the Green Deal Circular Construction, but certainly not the motivation to continue on the road to a sustainable construction sector.

More than half of the projects in the Green Deal Circular Construction focused on building level from the different phases of the building process. Not only demolition and reuse, but also new business models, legal and financial levers were explored. During learning moments, meetings and workshops, knowledge and experience were further developed and then turned into pilot projects.

The participants formed a varied group consisting of architects, contractors, producers of building materials, local and regional authorities, knowledge institutions, ... This project brought them all together in a learning network, working on different themes of circular construction: rethinking the building process, with an eye for more transparency and cooperation and the economic added value of circularity, but also the second life of materials from demolition and modular and adaptable buildings.

Why is circularity so important?

Some 30-40% of waste in Flanders comes from construction. But more than 90% of construction and demolition waste already gets a second life today. That's better than much of Europe. Often these materials are used in low-grade applications, so there is a great need for high-grade recycling and more reuse of materials. In addition, the environmental impact of our materials use must also be reduced. The ultimate goal is to turn Flanders into a circular economy by 2050, in which material cycles are closed.

The construction sector therefore plays an important role in this. Although the Green Deal Circular Construction has ended, this certainly does not mean the end of efforts around circularity. Embuild Flanders and OVAM are putting their backs into the Flanders Circular Construction Work Agenda, which aims to further accelerate the transition to a Flemish circular construction sector. And just last year, the Flemish government approved the policy programme "Towards Circular Construction 2022-2030". With this programme, Flanders aims, among other things, to recycle >95% of the stony fraction of construction and demolition waste by 2030 and to recycle 50% high-grade into concrete granulates or new building blocks and to recycle >70% of the non-stony fraction (plastics, glass, electronics, etc.) by 2030. In addition, Flanders aims to design and (re)build 25% of its buildings according to the principles of circular construction by 2030.

So this will certainly not be the last blog post on circular building!

You can read the full report in Dutch on the closing event here.

The well-known Shopping Wijnegem was in need of a new roof, something Zoontjens tackled in a sustainable way. A good circular example! This roof needed renewing after 25 years of intensive use and strain from increasingly heavy cars. Shopping Wijnegem wanted a new parking roof with a higher insulation value. Fortunately, not everything had to be renewed. Many of the tiles were still in good condition, so they were reused. Tiles that could no longer be used on the roof were given a new life as walking or driving paths in the fields of a sedum nursery. Insulation was cleaned and placed on top of each other, reducing the need to buy new insulation. Read more about the circular renovation here (in Dutch).