The building sector is responsible for more than 60% of the resource use in Europe with more than 30-50 % of total material use taking place in the housing construction sector. The sector also generates about one third of all waste in the EU. Thus, increasing resource efficiency in the housing sector is of paramount importance for a sustainable society. Currently, the trend is to improve recycling of building materials from demolition waste. This, however, often leads to downgrading of the use and value of the materials. In contrast, a circular economy promotes optimal reuse of building materials at a higher value level.

CHARM implements an asset management approach that prevents downcycling of materials in renovation and construction of social rented dwellings by:

  • creating and implementing guidelines for a circular procurement strategy for social housing organisations;
  • creating and implementing material exchange platforms to enable circular flows of materials and building components in the social rented sector;
  • demonstration examplers of circular housing;
  • identification of barriers and enablers in building regulations and governance.

The project output will be jointly generated by social housing organisations from 4 countries in the InterregNWE region (Belgium, France, the Netherlands, United Kingdom), in co-creation with supply chain partners and knowledge institutes. The housing organisations are front runners in different aspects that are crucial to circular asset management strategies.

The exemplars will contribute to at least 100 kton materials being prevented from downcycling during the lifespan of the dwellings. This can lead up to 2000 kton/year being prevented from downcycling by the project partners. Dissemination and uptake of the results in the social rented sector in the NWE territory is achieved through the involvement of European, as well as national, innovation exchange platforms.

CHARM is currently in the second phase of the application process for the Interreg North-West Europe regional development fund provided by the EU.