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  • Writer's pictureHQB Construct BV

Circularity and sustainability

Sustainability is increasingly being put in the spotlight. More and more companies are becoming aware of this and are wondering how they can introduce sustainability in general and sustainable construction specifically into their company. That is why the Flemish Construction Confederation has set up learning networks in Flanders in collaboration with the WTCB.

Because material prices are rising enormously, circular construction is coming to the fore. Within the construction sector, we can go in all directions with this. This was apparent from the numerous topics discussed in the learning networks. The first session outlined a general framework. What is circular construction and what is involved? Kris Blykers, manager of the office Blieberg - architects of a circular economy, explained what you encounter as a company, and how they have tackled these challenges in practice.

Waste (or not?) The second session focused on waste. What waste streams are there? How can we keep it clean? How do you motivate employees? What impact does waste processing have on the organization of construction sites? Where do I take my waste? Which suppliers or processing companies are interested in my waste stream? So the key question was: how can waste be generated by reuse or by reprocessing it? Our Earth will not remain a source of raw materials forever. The learning networks of Topics have great added value because the participants can learn from their colleagues. That turned out to be the case again. The Franck company discussed how it has been recovering bricks for years and preparing them for reuse in new homes. Finding, training and putting to work people who close the materials cycle faces its own challenges.

Biobased and materials banks. The learning network also discussed an interesting evolution: the emergence of Atelier Circuler, and other materials banks. These have recently been inundated with requests for specific materials. The role of so-called biobased materials made from shells, hemp and the like is also fascinating. How can you choose such circular materials? This was explained by EA+architecten and VIBE. During this session, some circular building products were presented. For example, the well-known producer Wienerberger has presented his Clickbrick. Those who want to know more about this subject can also surf to websites such as, staenis. com, and

Design. Design is of course important in a circular approach. In that respect, the construction site of 't Centrum van Kamp C is an instructive experience. By designing differently, a building can be more easily renovated and rebuilt after 15 or 20 years, with reuse of the materials. During this fourth session of the network, OVAM explained Totem, a tool that supports the choice of materials. The BBRI discussed designing for the future, with substantiated strategies and choices, based on the measurability of circularity. Thinking together Topics is an ideal opportunity for the participants to broaden their horizons and expand their network of contacts. But there is also time to reflect. The participants themselves indicate what they want to change in their company. During the last session, everything was sorted out and shared with each other. After visiting a number of current circular construction sites, everyone went home very enthusiastic and full of feasible new ideas.


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