Circular Bio-based Construction Industry | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Circular Bio-based Construction Industry

Priority Axis

Resource Efficient Economy

Specific objective

Circular Economy

Lead partner

Stichting Avans

Date de début


Date de fin


Project budget

6 969 596

ERDF amount

4 181 758

ERDF rate


    À propos

    Common challenge

    The construction industry is a large consumer of resources with 30-50% of total materials used in Europe going to construction. Between 2003 and 2011 approximately 1200-1800 Megaton of construction materials were used yearly in the EU, emitting annually 33% of total CO2 emissions. However, often the components and materials used are not adaptable during their use- and life-cycle, because most building projects are still designed in a linear way, making reuse hard and hence resource efficiency low.

    Despite the EU’s wish to move from linear to circular systems, applicable circular approaches are scarce. Especially those coupling the technical and biological cycle with an integral approach of sectoral aspects: technique, economy & finance and framework & regulation. Enabling change towards integral circular bio-based approach in the building sector requires new roles of stakeholders in the building sector (manufacturers, constructors, policy makers, investors, contractors & endusers).

    Main Achievements

    The future of the construction industry is circular and bio-based. The CBCI project is working towards that, by developing practical solutions and tools.

    The first output we created is the White Paper 'Five essentials for succesful circular bio-based construction initiatives; How real estate professionals, (public) property owners and developers put circular bio-based principles into practice'. This White Paper is widely communicated, to inspire professionals and to be of practical use for them. Follow-up will take place in 2021, to increase the impact. This includes the organisation of workshops per identified essential. Two additional white papers are in progress, on procurement and rules & regulations.

    For the living labs, crucial choices are made with regard to the tendering. For project partner Emergis (NL) Design & Build tender was chosen for the total renovation and new construction, whereas for KU Leuven (BE) Design & Build is chosen only for the structure and skin while lease is chosen for the plug-in modules for the HVAC systems plus the sanitary and technical installations. Through co-creation, the coming year, the CBCI team and the selected contractors will further elaborate the design and material choices to meet the outputspecifications. Results from testing and prototyping will be used for this. For the first iteration, UBath used sheeps wool, timber and Nabasco for the insulation, structural and façade solutions respectively, along with a conventional panel featuring a timber façade and rockwool for comparison. BBRI are constructing a wall with multiple panels which will test additional insulation products such as metisse and grass. Additional products under consideration for the second iteration are mycelium and the swamp plant Typha for insulation and Bio-treated timber for the façade. Design solutions are considering interlocking and gravity-based connections which can be reused and the elements disassembled. Connections under consideration are both metal and timber.

    Though some parts of the project may appear rather untouched by the corona pandemic, other parts were severely affected. Particularly the investments of project partners Emergis and KU Leuven are delayed, whereas the prototyping at Avans University of Applied Sciences (NL) and the testing at the University of Bath (UK) and at BBRI (BE) could not proceed as planned. That is why we changed the timeplan and requested a major modification. Currently, we are awaiting approval.



    Kamp C

    University of Bath


    Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI)

    Agrodome B.V.

    Flemish Construction Confederation

    KU Leuven

    Province of Zeeland

    HZ University of Applied Sciences


    Output name
    URL / Download


    Thème: IndustryCircular economy
    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: Citizens