TU.1.A || Circular Economy Buildings – from Research to Practice

Rydberg, Tomas; Andersson, Johanna; Gerhardsson, Hanna; Kultje, Eva; Lewrén, Adam; Loh Lindholm, Carina; Löfving, Joel

The environmental potential of reusing interior and building products (notably furniture, lighting, doors, windows, flooring and ceilings) has been calculated by a rather basic model based on life cycle approach. By making a calculation model available to housing and renovation companies in Sweden, a total of over 43000 items have been included in calculations as objects for reuse, stemming from about 130 renovation projects with a total waste saving of 800 tonnes of waste in the renovation stage. The first calculations of the corresponding avoided climate impact, from avoided waste management, and also avoided new product extraction and manufacturing corresponds to around 1600 tonnes of CO2-equivalents. Including this and other environmental aspects as evaluated with the EPS system, svaving in terms of monetary valued environmental impacts is around 2.3 million Euro. Assuming the same composition of items for potential reuse from all renovation activities in Sweden, and extrapolating to the total annual amount of building waste, the potential annual savings on the national scale is estimated to 900000 tons of building waste, 1.3 million tons CO2 equivalents, corresponding to around 7% of the total greenhouse gas emissions of the Swedish building sector. With the EPS evaluation, the total environmental benefit adds up to 600 million Euro. This number is essentially an externality saving, but for comparison, it corresponds to around 1% of the yearly Swedish investment in the building sector. The calculation model is currently being refined to include a better coverage of logistics and refurbishment activities, which have been poorly included in the model so far.