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Workshop “Creating a Roadmap towards Circularity in the Built Environment”

ICATALIST, a Spanish consultancy for sustainability and adaptation to climate change and a partner in the RECONMATIC project, is also among the participants of the CircularB COST Action Working Group 3, aiming to create a circular KPIs framework for the construction sector.  As such, ICATALIST actively participated in the last workshop organised by the CircularB team, entitled “Creating a Roadmap towards Circularity in the Built Environment – State-of-the-Art.” The event occurred in the city of Córdoba, Spain, from September 12th to September 14th, 2023.

Image: Rocío Pineda (CircularB member) and Sara Ros (I-CATALIST) on the RECONMATIC’s presentation during the CircularB workshop in Spain.

The primary objective of the workshop was to promote innovation and the adoption of circular practices within the built environment sector, sharing the work done regarding the development of the State-of-the-Art Report and other collaborative papers. In a collaborative effort, the working groups presented the progress made so far, identifying potential intersections between different groups, and engaging in discussions regarding the preliminary version towards finalizing the report. In addition, other external stakeholders had the opportunity to collaborate, share their insights and expertise, and address specific challenges and opportunities associated with circularity in the built environment.

On September 15, 2023, ICATALIST actively participated in the Stakeholder's Day of this event. The day began with a brief welcome speech by a representative of Cordoba city, and representatives from CircularB, including Luís Bragança (Chair of CircularB), Meri Cvetkovska, and Rocío Pineda, extended their greetings. Attendees were provided with an overview of the CircularB project, including details such as the number of project partners, project duration, objectives, overall structure, milestones, and planned activities. This introduction set the stage for the ensuing discussions.

The day included an interactive survey on knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about the construction sector, conducted by Professor Ferhat Karaca from Nazarbayev University. Later, a group discussion and decision-making activity was carried out, led by Rocío Pineda (University of Seville) and Sara Ros (ICATALIST), who used a Mentimeter survey to guide the debate. The discussion revealed that most participants believed that

National, local or regional governments should play a leadership role in promoting circular economy practices in the construction sector.

Sara Ros (I-CATALIST) presesnting RECONMATIC during the Stakeholders Day of the CircularB workshop in Spain.

Additionally, attendees identified cost, restrictive regulations, and awareness as the top three barriers to the implementation of circular practices. The day also featured a presentation by ICATALIST about the RECONMATIC project. The event included presentations from three different companies discussing their sustainability and circular economy efforts, as well as the challenges and barriers they have encountered in their journey towards sustainability in the construction sector.

In the quest for a more sustainable future, the construction industry stands as a critical arena for implementing circular economy principles. This workshop was only one of the few synergy actions RECONMATIC has been establishing with Circular B Cost Action to pave the way for a more circular built environment. Stay tuned for more news on our collaboration in other fields like the research on construction stakeholders’ views and the search for key performance indicators on circularity.

Common Research Areas with the CircularB Cost Action

The CircularB Action has a common ground with RECONMATIC, as it aims to establish an international circularity framework for inclusive application and assessment in new and existing buildings. It seeks to support decision-making for all stakeholders in the value chain and to evaluate the implementation level of the European Circular Economy Action Plan. Its expected outcome is to develop a tool, based on this international framework, which includes a circularity rating with Key Performance Indicators that can be applied to different contexts. In order to enable direct utilization of this tool, a benchmark database, tailored to each country/region's unique conditions, culture, and traditions will be developed. Thus, it will benefit designers in creating sustainable buildings and will assist national/local governments in evaluating and promoting their Circular Economy targets.

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