Circular enterprise in construction: how to get started

As a building contractor, your aim is to build solid structures, and preferably with a low environmental impact. With the support of the FPS Economy, Buildwise gives you tips on how best to achieve that. You can also find out how to stand out from other professionals by protecting your expertise and innovations.

  • Construction
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The world is constantly changing. Best practice recommendations are evolving rapidly. Standards Cells have been set up to ensure that you can focus on your building projects instead of losing too much time trying to figure out the latest standards. These points of contact are supported by the FPS Economy. There are currently 40 cells, spread across 9 industry-based research centres. Standards are agreements laid down to clearly stipulate what each partner may expect from the products, services and organisations you use. When you comply with the standards laid down, you will have easier access to the markets.

No less than 1,200 building standards

As a scientific centre for technology for the building industry, Buildwise manages various Standards Cells, which are funded by the FPS Economy. You can contact these units with any queries about the latest recommendations and legislation. Buildwise provides technical information about 1,200 building standards, ranging from the first fix to sanitary and roofing works, floor coverings and plastering.

Free advice on standards

Thanks to the support of the FPS Economy, you, have access to free advice about standards as a member of Buildwise and you can ask the experts any additional questions. Don’t hesitate to do it!

Building industry takes responsibility

Recommendations for circular construction are very much reflected in the building industry standards, and rightly so. The industry currently accounts for half of all the materials extracted in Europe, it produces 30% of the waste and also accounts for 30% of CO2 emissions. In order to achieve the European target to become climate neutral by 2050, it is important for a major player such as the building industry to play its part. Fortunately, circular construction is not just about making an effort, but it also offers you as a contractor enormous opportunities. After all, it can offer a solution to many of the current challenges, in terms of availability of raw materials, avoiding waste, smart energy use, reducing CO2 emissions, etc.

Future-proofing buildings

On the FPS Economy website Go for Circular you will find interesting cases and recommendations to inspire you to use circular construction methods. Buildwise also offers a wealth of information on how to future-proof your building projects whilst minimising their environmental impact. The whole process starts at the design stage. After all, buildings that can evolve with the changing needs of the users will last longer. From offices with modular walls to engineering rooms that are easily adaptable to the latest systems, all of this makes a world of difference.

Given any thought to biobased?

Think about avoiding waste, for example. You can do that by efficiently organising each stage of the construction and by sorting every type of building waste. This enables you to differentiate between materials that are suitable for recyclingAny recovery operation through which waste, including organic waste, is reprocessed to become substances, materials or products that can be used for their initial function or other functions. and materials that can be reuseReuse designates all operations by which substances, materials or products that are not waste are used again in an identical way to their originally intended purpose.d in renovation work. By using recycled materials yourself, you will also considerably reduce the footprint of your building project. And what are your thoughts on biobased materials that are biodegradable or recyclable? This is also a brilliant idea to reduce the impact of your project.

What does it cost?

Buildwise does not only provide you with tips on circular construction, but it also covers feasibility and costings. Even though this method of operating offers enormous advantages, it is also important to carefully consider how a specific choice of materials or design will impact the budget. By informing all the partners involved in the project of the advantages and disadvantages of more sustainable and circular construction, you are already laying solid foundations for a successful collaboration.

Protect your innovations

Collaboration and exchanging information with all the partners involved is an important requirement to ensure the success of the building project. However, that does not mean that anyone can just walk off with the innovations which you or your company have developed. Even when you are using BIM (Building Information Modelling), i.e. sharing digital information with building partners, the intellectual property legislation applies. The Belgian BIM Reference Protocol for the building industry includes detailed intellectual property legislation. If you open up your creations to others, they are authorised to use those within the project but there is no question of taking over the property rights. This will keep you as an entrepreneur motivated to continue to develop sustainable circular innovations that will impress your client and building partners. At the same time, you can continue to inspire others and learn from each other.

Any queries about intellectual property? You will find all the relevant information on Go for Circular and OCBC, which is the patent unit of Buildwise supported by the FPS Economy.