Implementation stage for circular economy in the danish building and construction sector
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The building and construction sector is selected by the European Commission as a key product value chain in the transition towards circular economy (CE) due to the major resource consumption, waste generation and GHG emissions from this sector. This paper reports the result from qualitative and semi-structured interviews with 30 Danish stakeholders from the sector on the current stage of implementation of CE and the research/innovation needs to scale circular construction from niche to mainstream. The interviews showed a large variety in the stakeholder’s stage of transition from hardly knowing the term to having CE as a major driver in their business. Some meant that scaling of CE is close to impossible and that material reuse will never develop to more than a niche, whereas others already offer full-scale circular solutions to clients. The interviews pointed at a need for a common definition and terminology for CE, methods for documenting the gains from the circular solutions (economic and environmental), methods for technical documentation of the quality of reused materials, processes which enables scaling, methods to implement CE in various systems such as digitalization and building passports, new value chains and framework conditions in support of circularity. Regardless these needs, demonstration projects of major importance to gain general knowledge have been built or are planned in Denmark. These demonstrations have different approaches: using todays waste from different industries as construction materials; reusing construction materials (the basic building, elements or processed materials); and designing new buildings for disassembly to enable future reuse.