Pilot scheme launched in Ireland to increase reuse of construction materials
A new pilot programme launched by The Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) aims to demonstrate that construction waste can be used as a useful resource.
According to IGBC’s data, about 50% of materials used globally are linked to the construction industry, and only a small amount of waste generated in this sector is currently reused or recycled.
In Ireland, the construction industry generates 48% of all waste, 6.2 million tonnes, with no considerable recycling or reusing.
Therefore the newly introduced Construction Materials Exchange (CMEx) project aims to address this area by implementing Circular Economy principles.
This pilot programme strives to prove that by designing a user-friendly and transparent system, the sector could increase the reuse of construction materials that would otherwise end on landfills.
“There is a significant resource value in construction waste that is simply going unrealised. The objective of the pilot is to address barriers to reuse and raise awareness about this huge potential,”
said Pat Barry, CEO at IGBC, regarding the project.
The overall goal is to create a platform where materials from the waste stream with the potential for reuse can be easily identified and develop a mechanism that would enable reuse.
These data will be administered on an online platform that automatically generates unique passports for materials and facilitates the best matches for reuse.
The Material Passport is a digital document containing information on all the parts in a building that would allow all material sources to keep flowing and avoid landfill or incineration.
The passport essentially lists all the ‘ingredients’ of a building, which can also be helpful to manage a facility or make changes if it is redeveloped or extended in the future.
The CMEx project is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications in Ireland as part of the Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme.
“Transitioning to a more circular construction industry is critical to reduce waste and the carbon footprint of the sector. It can also support innovation, while ensuring that resources are kept within the local economy for as long as possible.
That’s why we are delighted to support this initiative by the IGBC and encourage many construction companies to get involved,” added Minister Ossian Smyth T.D. with responsibility for Communications & the Circular Economy at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.
The Irish Green Building Council joined forces with Excess Materials Exchange (EME), an organisation that runs a highly successful materials exchange platform in the Netherlands.
The IGBC is Ireland’s leading authority on green building best practices with a network of over 260 organisations and is affiliated with the World Green Building Council.