Five essentials for successful circular bio-based construction initiatives


How can we ensure that circular and bio-based practices are adopted by the construction industry? This is a central question within the CBCI project. This project pillar mainly focuses on the financial, economic and funding component of CBCI, and the project team works on developing solutions and recommendations in these fields. Now we are almost ready to share the first set of practical recommendations with regard to this project pillar in a White Paper entitled "Five essentials for successful circular bio-based construction initiatives", which will be the first official publication within the context of the CBCI project. In this article you can get a first taste of what this first White Paper is going to entail.

The White paper is entitled "Five essentials for successful Circular bio-based construction initiatives", and essentially it is a practical guide aimed at real estate professionals, (public) property owners, developers and other interested parties. Learning while doing without claiming to be complete is the foundation on which this white paper is build. In the publication you will find five essentials to consider for integrating circular and bio-based principles in construction projects. Key learnings from interviews and literature study about how to integrate circular and bio-based in construction projects are shared, but rather than theorizing, the main endeavor of the white paper is to provide practical insights and readily applicable solutions, based on proofs of concepts.

For the White Paper, desk research has been done on topics of funding mechanisms, cooperation models and stakeholder-needs as well as interviews held with the initiators and key-partners of thirteen exemplary circular construction projects, referred to as case studies and cases. Eight of these cases were further analysed. They were selected for their unique characteristics such as a combination of circularity and application of bio-based materials. While the exemplary projects were mainly newly constructed buildings, the essentials also apply to renovations, building extensions as well as other construction projects. 

Five practical essentials for successful circular bio-based construction 

The research and interviews have resulted in the following five essentials:

1. AFFORDABLE cost-effective & inclusive reuse

2. FLEXIBLE prepare for future functions

3. PASSIVE stay cool & healthy with bio-based materials

4. INTEGRAL continuously reflect on circular bio-based benefits

5. TRADITIONAL OWNERSHIP keep it, simple

The five essentials are meant to inspire stakeholders in the sector to carry out affordable and feasible circular bio-based constructions, and as a result to prevent valuable resources (including energy) going to waste, today and in the future. The exemplary cases that are discussed in the White Paper show that it is possible. It is not always easy and it does require a good dose of perseverance as well as leadership. Yet perhaps that is why, without exception, the initiators are proud of what they have achieved. So, like the director of Cepezed, one of the case studies, said "[circular construction] isn't rocket science, if you're willing to, you can do it". When you act, you can pave the way for circular bio-based construction people can be proud of.

Has this article sparked your curiosity about the White Paper "Five essentials for successful Circular bio-based construction initiatives" ? The full content of the white paper can be downloaded via the following link and completing the form.

More about the CBCI project

CBCI is short for Circular Bio-based Construction Industry. The CBCI project aims to provide practical solutions to speed up the uptake of circular bio-based construction. With real-life projects, prototyping, testing, modelling and simulation, this project is about learning and doing, in multiple rounds. In this applied design research, we also explore to what extent an industrial approach helps to increase circularity and the application of bio-based materials in the construction sector. Moreover, the project is also about developing suitable tendering methods and business models and about tackling obstacles in rules and regulations with regard to circular bio-based construction. 

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