Report Partner Meeting May 2020

online meeting

4 June 2020

The partners of CHARM gathered online to talk about the progress of the project, and especially to evaluate the specifications for circularity in new construction and renovation projects. The social housing organisations Accord, Paris Habitat, Woonbedrijf and Zonnige Kempen presented the current situation of the demonstration exemplars. EFL hosted the online meeting, which was chaired by TU Delft.

Objectives of CHARM
Interreg NWE funded project CHARM is about making the social housing sector more circular. One of the objectives is to demonstrate and learn from innovative approaches for housing renovation and asset management that prevent downcycling. However, the main project objective of CHARM is to optimize the (re)use of material and natural resources. The project also wants to secure adoption of these approaches within the housing organisation partners, as well as to accelerate the adoption of such approaches throughout the social housing industry.

Presentations and progress of the projects
During the online meeting, all four participating social housing organizations presented the current situation of their demonstration exemplars and how they specified for circularity. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, some inevitable delay has occurred. Nevertheless, progress was the key word of the day. Accord is moving on with the development of their plastic-free houses. At this point, Accord is expecting to use 85% less plastics in their dwellings than conventional built houses. The construction is expected to start within a year time. Just as Woonbedrijf. The number of their new to build circular houses are adjusted to fifteen. And even in these weird times of Corona and physical social distancing, they keep on involving their future tenants through online meetings. Paris Habitat has selected several renovation projects and presented one of them - Sthrau - to explain their measures to reuse materials, prevent downcycling, and as a result: produce less waste. Zonnige Kempen has been working with Kamp C and Rotor to reuse materials for their head offices (of which we all have seen the beautiful results during the gathering in February of this year). With this gained experience and knowledge, Zonnige Kempen is going to move on in developing and constructing social housing dwellings, based on the same circular principles.

The next online meeting is planned for the 26th of June 2020. All new information is also collected by dr. ir Ad Straub, who is going to talk about CHARM during the event Day of the Circularity, organized by Renda on the 2nd of July 2020 in Oss, the Netherlands.

Asset management approach
After the presentations, the partners discussed about occurred opportunities, and made the process and experienced difficulties more explicit. Questions arose about the type of specifications for circularity, e.g. being descriptive or being very open, based upon desired functionalities. Also the explicit diagnosis phase of renovation projects and the role of architects e.g. about the re-use possibilities of components was discussed. The four social housing organizations are contributing to an asset management approach that prevents downcycling of materials in renovation and construction of social rented dwellings by creating:

  • circular building strategies tested in demonstration exemplars
  • guidelines for a circular procurement strategy for social housing organisations
  • material exchange platforms to enable circular flows of materials and building components in the social rented sector

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