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Students’ workshop: Innovation & the Circular Economy


Our partner, Morgan Sindall, conducted a session for young students at the recent Open Day hosted by RECONMATIC partners in Manchester, UK. The course explored the fascinating field of sustainable construction.


The circular economy in the construction sector was the workshop's main topic. More precisely, our partners from Morgan SindallKane Greenough and Louise Sturman, as well as architect, RIBA member, and BIM specialist Dr. Paul Coates, investigated the need for innovation in addressing waste and circular economy-related issues in the construction sector. The participants were 16–18-year-old students from PlanBEE Manchester, a special higher apprenticeship program in management, design, and construction.  


Kane Greenough began by outlining the issue surrounding waste in the sector. It was discussed that designing the building in a way that accommodates current products and determines whether or not materials may be reused in future construction is the first step toward solving this problem. Kane presented a number of industry firms that have created efficient take-back programs that allow waste to be returned to the manufacturer for recycling or reuse. For instance, the Altro Company repurposes flooring offcuts or improperly installed flooring by returning it to their factory. Kane also emphasised how Altro can recycle the flooring from a prospective demolition project, assisting the industry in lowering its waste from both building and demolition.


Dr. Paul Coates talked about the value of creativity and the various modes of thought that lead to efficient problem-solving. He said that business innovation, product innovation, and reuse and recycling innovation will all be essential to achieving the circular economy standards. Various techniques and modes of communication were explored at the workshop as a means of encouraging innovation. Both an industrial and a cross-domain level that encompasses several economic sectors was taken into consideration while discussing innovation and the circular economy. Various approaches to inventive practice were examined through the use of conceptual blending, perceptual shifting, metaphors, lateral thinking, and creative thinking techniques. There was also talk on system theory.


PlanBEE Manchester students playing Circular Business Deck card game

In addition to talking with the students and professionals, attendees played a card game that sparked a conversation about the various ways that the economy is being promoted by different sectors. The objective of the game was to create a circular supply chain in a variety of industries, from textiles and clothing to food and agriculture. The small group of students who played the game enjoyed learning about the various ways that various industries support the circular economy and exploring cutting-edge techniques in sustainable manufacturing.


We are appreciative of the PlanBEE students who came. Such occasions are necessary to instill in the next generation a consciousness of sustainability and the idea that creative solutions can benefit the environment and advance a circular economy.


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This article was written by Louise Sturman from our UK partner, Morgan Sindall. Stay tuned to our social media and news section at reconmatic.eu for the latest updates and subscribe to our newsletter to receive our news directly in your mailbox.

 

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