The circular economy is a way to reduce the global consumption of raw materials and reduce waste production. It thus contributes to the integrated sustainability task we are facing: preventing climate change, loss of biodiversity and overburdening our planet. This calls for a change to our current systems, which are currently based on a linear economy. This may have a number of consequences for the construction sector including more and better reuse of construction -materials, -products and -elements and a different approach to the production, tendering for, design and implementation of construction projects.
The need to change has become clear to many people. The answers to the questions of how to jointly achieve this change and what it will take are not yet clear, since we are still in the initial stages of this transition. What is clear, however, is that this change requires a package of unambiguous agreements to anchor circular thinking and actions in daily construction practice. Platform CB’23 (Circular Construction 2023) has committed to drafting some or all of these agreements for the entire Dutch construction sector: both residential and non-residential construction and infrastructure (civil engineering). They will essentially be working agreements, laid down in guides, rather than formal standards at this stage. The chapter on 'Justification' discusses the platform's approach in more detail.
In working towards a circular construction economy, Platform CB'23 sees the need for unequivocal agreements on - for the time being - seven interconnected main topics, as shown in the image below. The Circular Construction Framework and the Circular Construction Lexicon serve as the starting points for this. The topics listed below the figure require further elaboration. As a start, the guides 'Core method for measuring circularity in the construction sector' and 'Passports for the construction sector' have been drawn up for the topics Measuring Circularity and Information & Data. As yet, no specific information can be given on where and when further details will appear for the other topics listed or for any supplementary topics. The necessary transformation of the supply chain, i.e. the underlying procedural change that is needed, is the other connecting factor.