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New Circular Economy Business Model for More Sustainable Urban Construction

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - CINDERELA (New Circular Economy Business Model for More Sustainable Urban Construction)

Reporting period: 2021-06-01 to 2022-11-30

European urban and peri-urban areas, where most of the construction activities take place, produce large quantities of different waste types generated by municipal services, construction sector and other industries. This waste can be a valuable source for the locally available Secondary Raw Materials (SRM) for urban construction works as substitutes of virgin materials and create a window of circular business opportunities for construction companies. However, building circular approaches in construction sector that involve the recovery and use of SRM from waste streams is a challenging task for companies due to lack of appropriate knowledge, technologies, good practices and incentives in place to stimulate the demand and the supply actors to take action. CINDERELA addresses this challenge by assessing the urban waste to resource opportunities, development and testing of new SRM-based construction materials and their application in large scale demonstration pilots to develop a panEuropean pool of knowledge and showcase good practices essential to help construction companies build circular economy business models.

European construction sector generates about 9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the European Union and directly employs 18 million people being one of the most important industries of the European economy. At the same time, it is one of Europe's biggest consumers of resources that uses about half of all materials extracted and also generates one third of all EU waste. Construction and demolition waste (CDW) together with other types of waste provide an enormous potential for reducing the demand for virgin materials, the production of waste, and maximizing the value of recovered materials. The CINDERELA project aims to untap this potential by developing and demonstrating a new business model (CinderCEBM) to assist companies in setting up successful circular economy business cases based on waste-to-resource opportunities. The business model is accompanied by a "one-stop-shop" (CinderOSS) service offering all that companies need to know for manufacturing and application of SRM-based construction materials in buildings and civil engineering works.
Overview of results
- Assessing waste-to-resource opportunities and developing CINDERELA methodology for waste-to-resource transition in urban environments (WP3);
- Building the circular business model (CinderCEBM) and development of the CINDERELA One-Stop-Shop service (CinderOSS) (WP4);
- Assessment of the cutting-edge technologies such as 3D printing and utilisation of Secondary Raw Materials (SRM) in new technologies (WP4);
- Designing, developing and testing SRM-based construction products and designing and developing pilot demonstrations with use of Building Information Modelling (BIM)(WP5);
- Preparing End-of-waste criteria for construction and demolition waste (WP5);
- Developing new technology for extraction of P, K and N from urine as an example of cascade recycling (WP6);
- Establishing pilot production for SRM-based construction products (WP6);
- Constructing and testing (proving) large-scale demonstration of construction works (geotechnical works, road construction, small facility/building) with using SRM-based construction materials (WP6);
- Testing CinderCEBM in real environment (WP6);
- Assessing environmental, economic and social impacts of SRM-based construction products and construction works (WP7);
- Developing Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) protocols for SRM-based construction products (WP7);
- Communicating, disseminating and exploiting the project results (WP8).
The main progress beyond the state-of-the art developed through the CINDERELA project is a systemic solution for the waste-to-material transformation resulted in new circular economy business models (CinderCEBM) supported by CINDERELA One-Stop-Shop service CinderOSS, that makes the use of SRM-based construction products resulting from CinderCEBM more transparent, traceable and attractive to users: i.e. investors, companies, local administrations and decision-makers at local and regional levels. The latter is composed of five main modules: a Production & Construction module, which gives information on producing and using circular construction materials in construction works, including BIM-libraries and quality control; a Market & Legislation module, which offer services related to developing demand-side measures and administrative/legislative procedures for working with SRM-based construction products; a Research & Development module, providing knowledge on existing and upcoming recycling and construction technologies that can boost or harm novel business idea; a Digital Business Ecosystem (CinderDBE), an interactive communication platform for matchmaking potential business partners, customers and other potential stakeholders and materials trading; and a Circular Economy Business Model (CEBM) giving examples of good practices of circular economy business models in construction. Additionally, CinderOSS off-line service to be offered are also GIS-based Mass Flow Analysis (MFA) tool - GDSE and different service provided to end-users in order to develop and optimise CinderCEBM in their local, regional environment.

The major results in the project therefore are:
- A fully functioning and in real environment demonstrated CinderCEBM;
- Optimised CinderOSS, tested by different stakeholders and potential end-users; and
- Full demonstrated pilot production and large-scale construction works where SRM-based construction products are used.

Additionally, CINDERELA provides guidelines on GPP criteria, decision-making tools, limiting values connected with the End-of-Waste criteria, protocols on Environmental Product Declarations in the case of urban and peri-urban construction and others.

The project impacts are well aligned with expected such as:
- Created market for SRM-based construction products with market patterns such as less expensive construction materials, lower price of waste handling, local availability of resources and transparency and traceability of materials’ origin;
- New design approach for SRM-based construction products by considering all actors along the value and supply chain and by incorporating important tools such as Building Information Modelling (BIM);
- Reduced supply chain lengths due to local availability of resources resulting in less emissions and lower costs of transport;
- Material criteria included in designing of durable and recyclable SRM-based construction products and related services;
- New business opportunities created for industry and the SME in EU;
- Demonstrated economic, social, cultural and environmental sustainability of novel products through whole life cycle assessments and other approach;
- Provided evidence-based knowledge regarding the enabling framework conditions through large scale demonstrations and summarized in developed protocols, such as ETV protocols, GPP criteria, and EoW criteria;
- Different sustainable goals implemented, especially SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) 12 (responsible consumption) and SDG 13 (climate action).
secondary raw materials (SRM) based product
secondary raw materials (SRM) based product
on-site recycling
Recycled aggregate and small facility from reused and recycled materials
road rehabilitation
Green concrete blocks