Circularity: EBC in CEN workshop on Circular Technologies and Standards for Construction

In the context of its annual conference “Putting Science Into Standards”, the European Committee for Standardisation CEN and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre JRC invited EBC to intervene in this year’s edition dedicated to Circular Technology in Construction.

The two-day event, held on December 12-13, brought together leading experts, policymakers, and stakeholders involved in the standardisation, sustainability, and construction fields to address the crucial standardisation needs for implementing circularity principles in the construction sector.

The first day delved into policy perspectives, gap analysis, and strategies to bridge the gap in circular practices, with panellists exploring frameworks and indicators for measuring circularity. The second day featured parallel sessions focusing on quality assurance, circular design, and building information, offering participants a deep dive into specific thematic areas.

The concluding panel engaged into a forward-looking discussion, exploring collaborative strategies and shared visions to advance the implementation of circular technologies in the construction sector, and overall circularity in the sector.

EBC Secretary General, Fernando Sigchos Jimenez, intervened in this panel on the way ahead, next to Christophe Sykes (Construction Product Europe), Dieter De Lathauwer (CEN/TC 350), Mattias Bergdahl (DG Grow), and Malgorzata Wrobel (New European Bauhaus).

In his intervention, Mr Sigchos Jimenez emphasised the vital role of the construction sector in the decarbonisation efforts of the EU, highlighting the centrality of SMEs in construction and the need for stable regulation and SME-friendly standards to deliver on environmental ambitions. He advocated for standards acting as guiding principles, for SME participation in technical fora and the role of Small Business Standards SBS in safeguarding their interests. Regarding the uptake of circularity in construction, he mentioned the challenges faced by SMEs, including waste sorting and collection, liability and performance issues, or cost and market acceptance, underscoring the necessity for practical and accessible standards. He called for product and technology neutrality, as well as the importance of interoperability to alleviate the complexification of skillsets in construction. The TC 350 chair acknowledged the need of SME-compatible standards for advancing circular practices in construction, recognising the collaborative journey toward sustainable construction standards.

As the construction industry embraces sustainability, the insights from this workshop will contribute to the shape of the future construction standards, ensuring support for SMEs in their green transition through collaborative efforts and standards implementation.

You can access the presentations of the workshop here.