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Reuse on an industrial scale, to achieve the global goals

Circular construction by way of reuse can reduce negative environmental impacts and increase sustainability in conjunction with building, demolition and management. The construction industry is material-intensive, with large volumes of waste and high consumption of primary natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions related to material use.

The Center for Circular Building or CCBuild, a platform operated by IVL together with several project partners, is a hub for collaboration, aimed at increasing reuse in the construction industry. CCBuild offers a collaboration arena and digital tools, supporting the transition to greater sustainability by way of circular construction and sustainable work methods. The digital tools facilitate reuse of building materials, both within an organization and between organizations, by offering a marketplace for reuse. The platform's collaboration arena features networks, training and guides, to strengthen the market for circular products and services in the construction and real estate sector. CCBuild was developed as an innovation project in Vinnova's three-step programme Challenge-driven innovation, and now continues as a subsidiary of IVL.

More reuse in the construction industry is the aim

CCBuild addresses the challenge of changing the industry and transforming linear material flows to circular material flows. Collaboration is an important part of CCBuild, and the aim is reuse on an industrial level, and a shift to a more circular construction and real estate sector. For this reason, CCBuild is managed in close collaboration with industry partners and users. The target groups are property owners, construction contractors, architects, material suppliers, consultants, industry organizations, local collaborative arenas and public actors.

Expected environmental benefits of reuse in the construction sector

  • More circular flows in construction, demolition and management. This will lead to reduced consumption of primary natural resources, reduced waste volumes, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions related to material use.
  • A stronger market and greater awareness of circular products and services.
  • A collaboration arena and digital platform that support reuse in practice.

Value analysis provides reuse decision support

In tandem with the digital services, a value analysis solution has been developed. CCBuild's value analysis enables you to see the potential savings in greenhouse gas emissions, and costs and waste associated with the products and materials found in the product bank and the marketplace. The solution provides support for decisions on reuse, and the ability to follow up the results of specific projects. It follows the value of reuse in terms of potential reductions in waste volumes, potential climate savings (in tonnes of CO2), and economic value of existing products.

Click here for an updated value analysis of CCBuilds product bank. External link, opens in new window.

CCBuild's benefits for society and for the global goals

The construction sector's operations are closely linked to several of the UN global sustainability goals, in particular Goal 11 – Sustainable cities and communities and Goal 12 – Responsible production and consumption.

The goal Sustainable cities and communities is about global urbanization, with a focus on reducing cities' social divides and relieving strains on the ecosystem.

With urbanization comes a great need to build new housing and other functions. Here, circular construction can provide a way to meet this need without having to extract large volumes of natural resources to make building products, and without emitting large amounts of climate-affecting greenhouse gases in conjunction with the extraction, production and transportation of these new building products.

In this way, circular construction facilitates sustainable urbanization (target 11.3), which can reduce cities' environmental impact (target 1.6), and can constitute a strategy for resource efficiency target (target 11.B).

Global goals sustainable cities and communities

This goal, Responsible consumption and production, concerns humanity's management of natural resources, with a focus on reducing our ecological footprint by way of more sustainable consumption and production.

The vision for CCBuild is to contribute to a circular transition of the construction and real estate sector, which has the potential to reduce society's waste volumes (targets 12.4, 12.5) and virgin extraction of natural resources (target 12.2). It also includes efforts for supporting businesses in shifting to more sustainable and circular methods (target 12.6), raising awareness of procurement practices that foster circularity (target 12.7), and spreading knowledge about the opportunities of reuse and circularity (target 12.8).

responsible consumption and production

The Climate action goal is about reducing emissions of climate-impacting greenhouse gases. One important effect of circular construction is the potential to reduce emissions of climate-impacting greenhouse gases associated with extraction of natural resources, production and transport of products, and waste management in the construction industry.

Global goals climate action

Other global sustainability goals that CCBuild contributes to, directly or indirectly, include:

Goal 5 – Gender equality, where increased environmental focus could attract women to the construction and real estate sector.

Goal 8 – Decent work and economic growth, where a circular economy means the possibility of economic growth that is not at the expense of the environment or natural resources.

Goal 9 – Industries, innovation and infrastructure, where the digital platform and its function create new business benefits that foster innovation.

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