Pictured above is Dr. Mark Kelly, Atlantic Technological University
Commercial Partnership: Build360
Build360, is a comprehensive platform dedicated to promoting circular economy practices in the built environment sector in Ireland – serving as a comprehensive circular economy learning, information, and resource hub.
It features an extensive repository of best practice resources available in various formats, including PDFs, videos, Excel tools, podcasts, and more.
The built environment sector is responsible for 40% of the total EU final energy consumption, approximately 35 per cent of the EU GHG emissions, and accounts for half of all the extracted materials in the world (EC, 2020a).
Additionally, construction and demolition waste (CDW) represent 25-35 per cent of all waste generated in the EU.
In Ireland, there has been a clear correlation between construction output and CDW production, with estimates of 17.8 million tonnes in 2007 dropping to just over 3 million tonnes in 2014, mirroring the dramatic economic growth and subsequent sharp decline over that period.
The most recent EPA data from 2021 highlighted a significant increase of 2.6 million tonnes between 2018 and 2019 to a total figure of 8.8 million tonnes, which clearly demonstrates the significant challenges facing the sector and highlights the fragmentary and reactionary approach to waste prevention, resource efficiency and circular economy principles across the value chain.
Dr. Mark Kelly, Atlantic Technological University and one of the key partners in developing the Build360 website, believes the industry needs support and guidance in meeting these challenges.
That will require a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable approach underpinned by the circular economy principles of minimising resource use, reuse (including refurbishment and repurposing), design out waste, design for optimisation (longevity, flexibility, adaptability, disassembly and recoverability), standardisation or modularisation, performance as a service, responsible design and construction (use of low impact materials, use of recycling content and secondary materials, reduce construction impacts).
The Build360 website aims to support industry professionals throughout the entire value chain, academics and students who wish to learn more about how they can drive and lead the transition towards a decarbonized circular economy.
This initiative is a collaboration between the Build360 research group and the Galway-Mayo Centre for Sustainability in the Atlantic Technological University (ATU), the Regional Waste Management Planning Offices and is funded by the EPA through the Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN).
The Build360 website launch aligns strategically with the recent release of the Draft National Waste Management for Circular Economy report, which highlights that construction and demolition waste accounts for 58 per cent of the total waste generated in Ireland.
To explore the Build360 website and access its wealth of resources, please visit www.build360.ie