Circularity: New Horizon Europe project SUM4Re focuses on material reuse in construction through urban mining

On 12 and 13 June, EBC travelled to Vigo for the two-day kick-off meeting of the new EU-funded project SUM4Re – Creating Materials Banks from Digital Urban Mining. The project integrates advanced technology and sustainability practices to boost the circularity uptake in the construction sector. Led by the Universidad de Vigo, SUM4RE involves 16 partners across nine countries and spans from June 2024 to November 2027.

The primary aim of the SUM4Re project is to foster the creation of material banks thanks to smart urban mining in order to stimulate circularity in construction sites. By developing methods to identify, analyse, and optimize materials salvaged from existing buildings, the project intends to support a better acceptance and application of circular economy in the sector, in a way that materials are not merely consumed but continuously reused and recycled.

The project activities are organized under three main pillars:

  1. Identification: Using cutting-edge technologies like AI, BIM and remote sensing, the project will identify reusable materials within buildings.
  2. Analysis: Tools will be developed to assess the quality and potential reusability of these materials, ensuring that they can be effectively integrated back into construction without compromising safety or quality.
  3. Circularity: The final pillar focuses on the economic, environmental, and legal frameworks that will support the reuse of materials, thereby closing the loop of material usage in construction.

SUM4Re ambitions thus to reduce waste and energy consumption in the construction sector by increasing the supply of secondary materials and improving methods for their reuse. Additionally, the project aims to enhance labour productivity and foster new business models by integrating innovative technologies. To demonstrate the feasibility and impact of its approaches, SUM4Re has set up pilot projects in three locations: Spain (Donostia), with a focus on tertiary buildings and urban assets; the Netherlands (The Hague), focusing on urban district transformation; and Norway (Svalbard), centred on tertiary building and urban asset redevelopment.

EBC will play a role in disseminating the core findings of the SUM4Re project across its membership and networks across the EU. Additionally, our team will contribute to the activities targeting the training of SME entrepreneurs and workers as well as other construction professionals on the application of sustainable and circular methods and products in their daily operations. Additionally, EBC will facilitate connections and foster synergies with other relevant initiatives and projects to enhance the impact and reach of SUM4Re’s outcomes in the context of the digital and green transition of the sector.

Feel free to reach to us would you be interested in exploring collaborations with this initiative!


For more information on the project SUM4RE, please visit its LinkedIn page by clicking here
SUM4RE has received funding from the Horizon Europe research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 101129961. Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HADEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.