Circular Economy in the Construction Sector in Brussels: State of the Art, Challenges and Future Model

The Brussels-Capital Region has set up the Regional Circular Economy Program (2016-2020) in order to transform environmental issues into economic opportunities, to relocate the economy to Brussels and to increase the well-being of its inhabitants including through employment. This ambitious program aims to transform the current so-called linear economic model (extract, produce, consume, throw away) into a so-called circular model, where the concept of waste no longer exists. The construction sector in Brussels consumes a lot of resources and produces a lot of waste. Being also a big provider of local jobs, it therefore seems to be the ideal starting point for setting up such a model transition. The first part of this study defines the principles of a circular economy and shows how these can be applied to the construction sector. These foundations are then supplemented by an analysis of the inflow and outflow of building materials at the regional level in order to estimate the economic potential of their re-circularization. Based on these results, a circular economy model for the construction sector is developed and broken down into nine stages illustrated with real examples at the local and international level. The implications
for the building and its actors are underlined.
The second part of this study takes up the work started with stakeholders in the construction sector on the definition of a clear and shared vision of what the circular economy is in the Brussels-Capital Region and on the regional objectives to be achieved. The many actions proposed during these enriching exchanges are exposed there.

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