The real and positive impact of circular construction

The construction sector faces the great challenge of sustainability and the circular economy with great expectations and the need for a profound transformation.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
19 September 2022 Monday 10:08
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The real and positive impact of circular construction

The construction sector faces the great challenge of sustainability and the circular economy with great expectations and the need for a profound transformation. Promoting, designing, constructing and maintaining buildings following the criteria of circular construction is a guarantee of future value, since it anticipates the regulatory context and adds value to assets. The European Union has taken a step forward in this regard with the adoption of regulations and strategies such as LEVEL(s), the new reference framework to improve sustainability and drive demand towards more efficient, healthy and sustainable buildings.

Current challenges and future prospects are some of the issues that will be addressed at the conference "Circular Construction, a reality with a positive impact", organized by La Vanguardia and Grupo Construcía. The session will take place at the headquarters of the Círculo Ecuestre, in Barcelona, ​​on Thursday, September 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will feature the participation of fifteen professionals.

The event will be welcomed by Enric Sierra, deputy director of La Vanguardia, and Arturo Fernández, CEO and founder of Grupo Construcía, while the conference will be opened by the General Director of Environmental Quality and Climate Change of the Government of Catalonia, Marc Sanglas.

The thematic presentation will be organized in three consecutive round tables focused on "Circular construction as investment protection against risk", "Circular construction in the framework of business sustainability" and "The future of construction and the business model circular". The rector of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Daniel Crespo, will close the Forum. The UPC and Grupo Construcía have the Hub chair of circular economy applied to construction to promote knowledge and innovation in the field of circular economy in this sector and its associated industry.

The transformation of the linear economic model towards a circular model is especially important in the construction sector, due, among other factors, to the demands of decarbonization. It cannot be forgotten, in this sense, that the building sector is responsible at a European level for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions derived from energy, according to data included in Built4People, 2020.

Circular construction provides solutions to this problem since it focuses on people, on achieving a positive impact on the users of buildings and on the environment, in addition to the profitability of real estate assets.

How to achieve this goal? It is a complex problem that requires a global vision, starting from the initial design, thinking about its future "disassembly", considering the health and origin of the materials, identifying their composition at the molecular level, and preparing their recirculation at the end of their use. in the building.

The adaptation of European regulations is making strong progress towards generating a positive impact, as is the case of the green taxonomy and LEVEL(s). Promoting, designing, constructing and maintaining buildings following circular construction criteria is a guarantee of future value, since it anticipates the regulatory context and adds value to assets. Achieving zero emissions from our buildings by 2050 requires a full life cycle assessment. One solution is to adopt the principles of circular construction: encourage the use of sustainable practices and materials in buildings, with circular procedures, such as the recovery of materials, and ensure that new constructions are more and better adapted to climate change.

In this sense, the European Union has taken a step forward with LEVEL(s), the new reference framework to improve sustainability and drive demand towards more efficient, healthy and sustainable buildings. It is the European tool to monitor the circular economy in construction, taking into account the entire life cycle of the real estate asset.

Adapting the projects to the LEVEL(s) action framework facilitates the identification of sustainable projects under European criteria and, consequently, the raising of financing for the project, among other objectives, such as obtaining other quality and health certifications such as BREEAM, LEED or WELL.

The objective of Grupo Construcía, a pioneering company in circular construction, is to work to respond to the different challenges presented by the transformation of the construction and real estate sector and its value chain towards the circular economy. It is an ecosystem of companies around circularity, ranging from strategic consulting to the construction, rehabilitation and management of circular assets. As such, it has anticipated the regulations.

Grupo Construcía celebrates two decades of experience this year and since 2012 it has promoted circular construction in Spain and Portugal through its own methodology called Lean2Cradle® Construcía, in line with the LEVEL(s) action framework. L2C® Construcía is based on the combination of the Cradle to Cradle® principles, the main inspiration of the circular economy, and the integrated Lean Construction process and resource optimization system. With Lean2Cradle® Construcía, the two main negative impacts of the construction sector are reduced: the toxicity of materials and the generation of waste. The goal is to turn the buildings into material banks. In this way, value is added, since with this methodology, among other factors, efficiency in construction processes is improved, delivery times and return on investment are optimized, which in the end translates into greater satisfaction. the client's. Positive effects are also generated on the health of people and the environment, which results in an improvement in the user experience, thanks to the presence of nature as plant walls that provide well-being.

Thanks to the different tools of the methodology, building metrics are obtained. The Materials Passport stands out, a digital inventory that collects all the relevant information on the materials involved in the project at the level of raw materials, their expected cycle of use, routes for circulation and estimated economic value at the time of their recovery.

With the Materials Passport tool, on the other hand, the Circular Signature is obtained, which offers the quantified results of the indicators: carbon footprint generated, the health of the materials (absence of toxicity), the circularity index and an estimate of the future value of the materials, that which we recover when the building is totally or partially rebuilt.

Thanks to its Grupo Construcía methodology, it achieves a construction model that protects the environment, cares for people and adds value to buildings. A model that meets and anticipates the most demanding regulations on sustainability.

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