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As part of the development of the Circular Economy in the construction sector in Luxembourg, the Luxinnovation CleanTech and Wood clusters, in partnership with the Chamber of Skilled Crafts and the Federation of Craftsmen, organised an onsite workshop on 8 July at the Chamber of Skilled Crafts. About twenty participants worked on the areas of Materials and Deconstructibility/Modularity in circular construction.

“For more than 5 years, the circular economy has been a topic, but it has often remained theoretical”, explained Anne Majerus, technical and economic advisor at the Chamber of Skilled Crafts, in her introduction to these workshops. “We all know that it is important and that we must prepare, but for a long time there was a lack of concrete projects. Today, the projects are coming and it is therefore essential that local craft companies can respond to them, in order to prevent the big foreign players from coming to our market.”

Collaborative projects

After laying the theoretical foundations during a previous online workshop last February, the working session on 8 July made it possible to lay some concrete foundations enabling all the players concerned to find, together, the right solutions to meet these challenges.

“The objective is to identify the value leaks in the construction value chain and, on that basis, to suggest solutions through one or more collaborative projects,” explained Philippe Genot, manager of the Luxembourg Wood Cluster.

“A first concrete collaborative project for reuse of equipment related to the building envelope is underway and we are counting on the ideas and work proposals from this workshop to identify others,” said Charles-Albert Florentin, manager of the Luxembourg Cleantech Cluster.

Regional efforts

One of the findings of the workshop was that the number and variety of materials used in construction is on the rise, particularly due to the development of composite materials. “For some of these materials, we can have regional value chains – whether in Luxembourg, the Greater Region or even Europe, while for others, we are totally dependent on global markets and very distant sources,” observes Philippe Genot.

Obviously efforts will be focused initially on the regional possibilities be it for raw materials such as wood, which is “produced” in our forests, but also on the possibilities of “recycling/reuse” of certain materials.

“With all the players present at this workshop, we drew up a list of ‘gain points’, i.e. opportunities and interesting avenues being developed, but also of ‘pain points’, those elements that are currently blocking the development of one or other activity. This gives us a better idea of where to go and where to focus our efforts.

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