The building sector is responsible for more than 60% of resource use in Europe with more than 30 - 50% of material use taking place in the housing construction sector. The sector also generates about one third of all waste in the EU. It is because of these staggering statistics that increasing resource efficiency in the housing sector is of great importance for a sustainable society.
Main objective of project CHARM: optimise (re)use of material and natural resources
The main project objective of CHARM is to optimise (re)use of material and natural resources. Other objective is to demonstrate innovative approaches for housing renovation and asset management that prevent downcycling. 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.
Asset management approach
Currently, the trend is to improve recycling of building materials from demolition waste. This often leads to downcycling, reducing the use value of materials. For example, concrete from buildings being converted to form the foundations of roads. A circular economy promotes optimal reuse of building materials at at least an equivalent value, such as bricks reused as bricks. CHARM develops and implements 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
The project output will be jointly generated by social housing organisations from 4 countries in the InterregNWE region (Belgium, France, the Netherlands, United Kingdom), in co-creation with supply chain partners and knowledge institutes. The social housing organisations and partners are: Zonnige Kempen, Paris Habitat, Stichting Woonbedrijf SWS.Hhvl and Accord Housing Association. Other partners of the project are: European Federation for Living (EFL), Kamp C and the University of Birmingham. Lead partner of project CHARM is TU Delft.
The CHARM building strategies will lead to 36% of materials being prevented from downcycling, compared to the current maximum of 10%. This is equivalent to 40.000 tonnes of annual material recovery by the project partners alone. Dissemination and uptake of the results in the social rented sector in the NWE region will be achieved through the involvement of European, as well as national, innovation exchange platforms.