For ZAG, circular construction is not just a phrase


ZAG hosted three ReBuilt events between 12 and 14 March 2024. On Tuesday, 12 March 2024, we hosted the consortium meeting of the 14 partners of the Interreg Central Europe ReBuilt project. On Wednesday 13 March 2024, we hosted the The 1st Transnational Central European Circular and Digital Construction Conference. On Thursday, 14 March 2024, we visited a good practice example of the recovery of construction waste generated in the city of Maribor.

The conference programme is attached here.
The construction sector is one of the most material-intensive sectors in Europe, consuming 50% of all extracted raw materials and generating more than 33% of waste. OECD projections show that by 2060 the need for stone raw materials for construction will increase to 55 giga tonnes.

What is the solution? Circular construction (use of secondary raw materials, re-purposing of construction and other processes according to R hierarchies) supported by digitalisation to increase traceability and transparency of material flows and to improve knowledge of the environmental and technical performance of materials in construction.

At ZAG, we have been working on topics such as recycling suitable waste into construction products, industrial symbiosis (waste from one industry becomes raw material for another, in this case construction), cross-sectoral exchange of raw materials, environmental risk analysis and whole life environmental analysis for decades. The area of digitisation is also becoming increasingly present as part of ZAG’s research activities.

This time, the conference showcased some excellent circular construction practices and digital tools in Slovenia and Central Europe (e.g. digital product passport, digital construction logbook, circular construction platforms), as well as innovation ecosystems for circular construction created by companies, research and academic institutions, decision makers at local, regional and national level.

The conference, which also identified needs, barriers and opportunities for circular and digital renewal in Central European construction through group work, offered participants opportunities for discussion, networking and exchange of information, knowledge and good practices and planning next steps.

The project ReBuilt – circular and digital renewal of the construction sector in Central Europe, which runs from April 2023, is coordinated by the Slovenian Construction Institute. In addition to ZAG, the project involves 13 partners (from Slovenia, the Štajerska Chamber of Commerce and the public company NIGRAD, d.o.o.). It is one of 9 projects on the theme of circular economy that have been successful in the Interreg Central Europe call for proposals – detail SO2.3 (Taking circular economy forward).

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