The built environment currently consumes about 40% of all energy and 50% of all materials. Moreover, only 3% of all construction materials are reprocessed after high-level demolition. This offers great opportunity for circular innovation in the construction sector.
Revenue models that ensure that raw materials and products remain in use for as long as possible, are central in circular economic thinking. Technologically, more and more is possible. But how do you organize for such revenue models to thrive and where do you start?
Our goal was to inspire key players in the Dutch built environment and give them the knowledge and tools to help their circular innovations. Key to inspiring these entrepreneurs was to provide a good mix between listening, active participation in break-out sessions and tangible examples of how circular innovation in the built environment can work.
We welcomed our visitors with a guided tour at ARN waste center in Nijmegen, where the director Gerard van Gorkum showed their plant and explained why they invest in circular innovations such as a biogas plant, a heat network and a plant to process diapers. We followed up the day in Rebelspaces – our own circularly designed flexible workspace. Multiple speakers took the visitors on a journey to show examples of ways to close the loops in design and construction of complete buildings, including interior. We ended the day with break-out sessions in which the entrepreneurs, guided by circularity- and supply chain consultants, worked on mapping circular opportunities for their own companies.