Standardization In Support Of The Circular Economy In The Construction Sector

The circular economy is at the heart of sustainable development. In order to address this topic, the international technical standardization committee ISO/TC 323 “Circular economy” was established in 2018. The committee develops reference frameworks, recommendations, support tools and requirements for the implementation of activities of all involved organizations in order to foster sustainable development. In particular, it is in charge, via its working group (WG) 5, under the responsibility of Luxembourg, of developing the ISO 59040 project “Circular Economy – Product Circularity Data Sheet”.

Specifically regarding the construction sector, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), has created in May 2021 a technical subcommittee CEN/TC 350/SC 1, “Circular Economy in the Construction Sector”. It is in charge of standardization in the field of circular economy in the built environment. It specifies principles, requirements and guidelines to facilitate the transition to a more sustainable circular economy, including tools and processes to achieve this. The subcommittee will address all stages of the life cycle of the built environment, covering possible scenarios from design to deconstruction.

Standards developed by the subcommittee will be applicable to new and existing construction works (buildings and civil engineering works), including their products, materials and components. The subcommittee will address technical issues related to circularity, as well as environmental, economic and social challenges.

The CEN/TC 350/SC 1 subcommittee is composed of three working groups (WG):

  • CEN/TC 350/SC 1/WG 1: Framework, principles and definitions,
  • CEN/TC 350/SC 1/WG 2: Gap analysis, conclusions and recommendations,
  • CEN/TC 350/SC 1/WG 3: Chair’s Advisory Group (CAG).

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, currently counts seven national delegates involved in the work of the subcommittee CEN/TC 350/SC 1. Any national actor interested in this standardization work can submit a registration request to the Luxembourg’s National Standards Body (ILNAS/OLN) by email at [email protected]. The participation is proposed free of charge in Luxembourg.

The national mirror committee of CEN/TC 350/SC 1 is chaired by Mr. Markus Tresser from LUXIB, Luxembourg Institute for Building and Technology. To encourage further involvement of the national economic actors, he accepted to present the topic of circular economy standardization.

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Editor’s note: This article is brought to you by ILNAS and only reflects the opinion of the author.

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