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New Circular Economy Business Model for More Sustainable Urban Construction

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CINDERELA (New Circular Economy Business Model for More Sustainable Urban Construction)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-05-31

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 waste from industry, municipal services and others, can make excellent secondary raw materials (SRM) for construction works and thus 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.
In the reporting period from M1 to M18 all 8 WP have started, while WP3 has also being concluded. The main activities in this period therefore are:
- Assessing waste to resource opportunities (WP3);
- Building the circular business model (CinderCEBM) and supporting one-stop-shop service (CinderOSS) (WP4);
- Designing, developing and testing SRM-based construction products and designing and developing pilot demonstrations (WP5);
- Constructing and testing (proving) large scale demonstration of construction works with using SRM-based construction materials (WP6);
- Assessing environmental, economic and social impacts (WP7); and
- Sharing and exploring the findings (WP8)
The main results during the period are:
- Flow maps and data bases for the selected urban areas;
- Valorised waste for the production of SRM-based construction materials;
- Valorised existing end-of-life scenarios and alternative value chains as well as actors and stakeholders along them;
- Prepared CINDERELA Blueprint for a resource-efficient SRM-based urban and peri-urban construction sector.
- Determined CinderCEBM prototype and initial CinderOSS framework;
- Plan for pilot production plants and initial designs for large-scale demonstrations;
- Demonstrated extraction of nutrients from separately selected urine as demonstration of cascade recycling;
- Set LCA framework and LCA, LCC and S-LCA methodology;
- Set network and interaction with CINDERELA stakeholders;
- Prepared tentative plan for the exploitation of results and defined exploitable results.
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 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 four 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; and a Digital Business Ecosystem (CinderDBE), an interactive communication platform for matchmaking potential business partners, customers and other potential stakeholders and materials trading. Additionally, part of CinderOSS service to be offered is also GIS-based Mass Flow Analysis (MFA) tool, GDSE and service provided to end-users in order to develop and optimise CinderCEBM in their local, regional environment.

The major expected results until the end of 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 will also provide 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
road rehabilitation