Lessons learned Green Deal Circulair Bouwen

Through the joint commitment of the Green Deal Circular Construction, more than 360 organisations worked together to make circular construction a daily reality in Flanders.

Construction companies, architects, contractors, clients, civil society organisations, knowledge institutions and governments looked for concrete opportunities, experimented together in innovative pilot projects and developed new insights. 

Our colleagues Jona Van Steenkiste and Nadja Van Houten look back on 4 years of Green Deal Circular Construction.

What will stay with you? 

"There is a lot of motivation among this enthusiastic group of people and companies in the construction sector. What started with inspiration days and a limited number of pilot projects ended with action days, lots of research results and practical examples that we can build on. 

Looking at the field, I find that many people have not yet heard of the concept of circular construction or misinterpret it. At the Green Deal Circular Construction, it is pleasant that you can interact with like-minded people at a high level to learn from each other and to start new collaborations. I will miss that interaction the most." 

Did you get out of it what you expected? 

"Communities of Practice" were organised: simultaneous info sessions and workshops on relevant designs. So relevant, in fact, that several colleagues from our sustainable construction team followed up on a topic. For instance, Katrien Van Lierop focuses on reuse of building materials, Jona on the building passport and Emma Van De Steene on bio-based building materials.

We got to know many people, products and companies which means that today we can not only give even better advice to our clients but also rely on a network to keep our knowledge up to date." 

What did you learn? 

"Circular construction cannot be done alone. The entire chain in the construction sector has to participate in it. That's how you achieve the best results." 

What's next? What will we focus on?

"What remains to be done in terms of circular construction is to completely get rid of the negative connotation that some people have. With BB, I hope we apply at least some relevant aspects of circular construction in every project to learn from it and start taking this more and more for granted."

Nadja adds: "Because there is too much emphasis in the sector on the Euro measurement unit and decisions are mainly taken on the basis of measurements in this unit, there is too little insight into the cost we pay when we work with polluting, non-circular building materials/methods. In addition, there is too little know-how about the added value of building materials that can be reused or returned to nature without harm. Once the consumer realises and can measure the cost he achieves with the negative impact of the production and consumption of a building material on people and the environment, circular building materials will be the most interesting option and there will really be more circular construction."

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