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Developing a guidance tool for implementing circularity in construction #2

National Workshops with Stakeholders take RECONMATIC one step further

Following the interviews with stakeholders last year, the RECONMATIC partners have organised and hosted a series of National Workshops, to share with the construction sector stakeholders the progress on an open-source digital tool, developed within the project, to guide the implementation and assessment of circularity and sustainability practices in different processes and stages of the life cycle of CDW.  The tool will complement the digital and automated solutions developed by the project and will be available for free use by anyone interested.



The workshops were organised by each country in the project consortium and aimed to gain end-user insights to support the development of its features, through validating a selection of environmental, economic, social and circularity indicators that the tool will be based on as well as the assessment methodology used.


Stakeholders’ feedback

Overall, the attendees pointed out that the tool was in itself a source of inspiration, as it raised issues that are not always obvious but important thanks to their holistic approach and global perspective. Although the tool is addressed to non-experts in the whole life-cycle in construction, some stakeholders involved in the field of sustainability certifications in the construction sector mentioned that aligning the indicators used by the tool with the existing certifications would be useful for all stakeholders, as motives for those being certified are now provided.

 

The need of motives to apply such a tool were also part of the discussion. Besides environmental and social motives, the tool aims to support the professionals to adopt to the rapid changes in the industry and stay in the market, by updating their services without consulting costs. Thus, the motives to use the tool are mostly financial, related to efficiency and business, as the legislation is becoming stricter regarding waste management in construction.

 

Other discussions revolved around the tool’s potential for future applications and its integration into other tools that are widely used in the industry, like management systems.  Enabling the evaluation of improvements to be applied in projects and processes in the starting point and the ability to save data for assessment at different times, were very interesting for the participants.


The challenges

Regarding the validation results of the selected indicators, it emerged that some indicators require additional explanations, or that in some cases, the questions related to each indicator need to be adapted to the different user profiles. In some cases, the meaning of some of the terms used by the questions of the tool was not clear, which is an issue already identified by the RECONMATIC consortium that is currently working on the definitions of a selection of terms. 

 

More discussions were held on aspects related to the relevance of having quantitative data and considering the legal provisions of each country. Despite the European Union's efforts to establish unified legislation across its member states, it was mentioned that some countries, like Greece and Cyprus, lag behind in fully implementing these regulations. This discrepancy leads to growing pains as nations strive to catch up and align with EU standards and results to limited demand for a guidance and assessment tool like the one developed by RECONMATIC.


Register to the last workshops


The first national workshop in Spanish was hosted by ITC-AICE and Icatalist on the 14th of March. Italferr held the workshop with the Italian stakeholders on March 20th, while the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and ANAKEM together with Future Needs, hosted a joint workshop for Greece and Cyprus on the 21st of March. The stakeholders in the UK and the Czech Republic will have the opportunity to participate in two more workshops that will be conducted in April. Morgan Sindall will host the workshop in the UK on the 4th of April and JAIP is organising the one for the Czech stakeholders. Last but not least, one more workshop is now discussed to be hosted in China.


Free registration here: https://forms.gle/rewhqpf2tDtUeYhi9


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The RECONMATIC team would like to thank the participants of the workshops for their time and their useful insights regarding the tool, which will allow the team to improve it and tailor it to the needs of its final users.


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