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The Circular Construction Challenge – Rethink Waste

Do You Want to Help Build a Zero-Waste World?

Join the Circular Construction Challenge – Rethink Waste to co-create transformative solutions for the built environment.


We are calling for innovators that reuse, recycle and upcycle waste to new solutions for the built environment. Addressing a global challenge of waste overload, the Circular Construction Challenge is inviting businesses and innovators to help build a world where waste does not exist: What is your solution for reuse and upcycling in the built environment?

Price
Up to DKK 1,000,000 + support
Ideas
39
Category
Concept
Kick-off and launch of challenge call

At the kick-off event in BLOX, Copenhagen we will launch the challenge call and speakers will share international experiences with both challenge processes and business cases within circular construction.

Submission deadline for solutions

Submit your idea before October 8th, 8 am.

Pitch day of 10 shortlisted solutions by innovators

Up to 10 selected candidates will pitch their idea or solution to the Selection Committee.

Announcement of the 6 finalists

Up to 6 finalists will be announced at the Building Green Conference in Copenhagen, where each candidate will do a lightning talk about their solution. The audience is invited reach out with questions or interest in joining as a team member. After the finalists have been announced, we will open up for team member applications. For more details on this, as well as a detailed timeline, go to circularconstructionchallenge.org

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What is the Circular Construction Challenge?

The Circular Construction Challenge addresses this global problem of waste overload, mass consumption and continuously increasing resource use. We are calling for innovators to be part of the competition to reduce waste through the built environment. The challenge program is a one-year process altogether if you are among the 3 winning teams.  

Who can participate?
If you are a Danish-based material pioneer, designer, engineer, architect, craftsman or construction company - startup, SME or corporate - or a business innovator or tech expert that works with rethinking and reusing old materials or waste to create new solutions, do not hesitate to join the Circular Construction Challenge. As long as you have a commercial ambition with your idea and have a Danish CVR-number we are happy to receive your submission.

Furthermore, anyone in the global circular ecosystem with competencies and expertise in relation to the chosen ideas can join as a team member to help realize the prototype. Here, we are eager to have international experts join as well.

What is a good solution?
We are open to all ideas — no matter what stage of development they are in. As long as you — with support, new partnerships, prototyping and tests — are able to advance and scale radically. A good solution also takes both sides of the value chain into consideration: what type of waste do you remove from the equation and what resource do you then add?

For full information, download the challenge call

Circular Construction Challenge

The Award

The winning teams will receive substantial, long-term development support comprised of the following:

Help setting the right team
The winners will receive help in finding team members that can help create a solid solution - technically, aesthetically and commercially. The teams can be organized as project companies or as entrepreneurial companies and the winners will receive counselling to a tailor-made model.

6-months charged innovation process
The winners will receive exclusive access to a 6-month charged innovation process with 3 boot camps, where they - in the newly established teams - will take the solution to the next level through co-creation and expert guidance. The winners will get the opportunity to receive tailored mentoring from domain experts to support the prototyping phase including access to labs and prototyping facilities.

Up to DKK 1,000,000 for development costs
The winners will receive up to DKK 1,000,000 to support the development of a physical prototype. The money can cover expenses for materials, purchase of data, travel costs and a number of working hours.

Extended network, PR & partnerships
Furthermore, the winners will have access to dialogue and a feedback session with a panel of potential buyers and investors for the new solutions. The Circular Construction Challenge is also an opportunity to connect with a national and international network, to get access to new partnerships throughout the value chain and to get solid PR and branding of the participating businesses and organizations.

Comments

Ideas for this challenge (39)
The idea is to reuse the pyrex and silicate glass from hospitals, production facilities of medical equipment and laboratories as a raw material substitution in bricks and insolation components.
We suggest to enclose problematic materials in buildings to keep the potential of the hazardous materials in the Buildings until there is a roadmap for the materials to be upcycled and reused.

Build your house from the ground itself. We intend to introduce an ancient building material in the modern building industry, bringing a 100% natural resource, normally regarded as waste,
to a state as solid, load bearing structures.

Rammed earth as a building material has the potential to revolutionise how we build 1-3 story buildings today. It is an ancient material dating back 2800 years, but it has never made its way into the modern building tradition. Today, when Rammed Earth is used as a construction material, it is made with a primitive and time consuming process using handheld tools. This fabrication process is a slightly optimised version of the ancient tamping process. Nothing has been improved over the years and the material has never found its way into the modern building industry.
Our solution optimises and automates a significant amount of the labor intensive work to make an economical sound and technical consistant product at the building site - from the building site.
The solution consists of two different steps:
- Material handling: Clay-based material from the building site is processed, mixed, and added sand, stone and water. This process happens within an automated on-site setup, placed within a standard shippingcontainer.
- Compacting process: The on-site compaction process is based on a modular formwork system, which features a top mounted, rail based compacting setup. The formwork is setup according to the florplan and the compacting module mounted on top. Material is fed into the formwork from the material mixing setup and compacted in an automated cycle by the compacting module.

This programme sets out to challenge normative industrial approaches to create complex timber facade systems. Firstly by setting out to minimise waste material used in the mould making process via a technique called kerfing. Secondly by questioning the use of synthetic materials in facade system design and lastly by challenging the conventional fabrication methods that are inherently arduous and convoluted by producing all required information in one digital model that will enable the fabrication of a full-scale mock-up with digital fabrication tools.

The Circular Bathroom:
The bathroom has the most resource demanding square meters of a home – both regarding costs during construction itself, the carbon footprint of the materials, as well as the resources required during use once the home is built.
In order to make homes of the future more circular there is therefore a large need for focusing on both material use as well as resource consumption in the bathroom which is at present a very non-circular construction...

Flow Loop has developed a series of solutions that reduce the carbon footprint of both the bathroom's materials and resource consumption by a factor10.

In WOHN Homes we believe in urbanisation as a driver for sustainable growth and equality, however with 200.000 people moving to cities and urban surroundings every day, cities are challenged in meeting the demand for affordable and sustainable homes.

WOHN Homes rethink the approach to homes: The way we build, live and manage our homes. We believe the future of homes is modular, flexible and a source for income in itself.

We believe that homes should and will be available to everybody - in the same way as we access our music and film supply through services like Spotify and Netflix. You don’t own it – you access it.

WOHN Homes wants to change the concept of homes from ‘equity for the few’ to 'equity for the many' through transformative building concepts, tokenification of assets and a ‘homes as a service’ thinking.

A WOHN Home is made up of one or more 10 m2 respectively 30 m3 cubes.

We build with waste plastic and waste glass.

We start with student homes and end full circle where you source, collect and exchange plastic and glass waste for a WOHN Home.

Welcome to the future where waste is exchanged for homes and homes are a service.

High quality plastic collected from the sea will be turned into garbage sorting systems for harbours and the coast of Denmark. Not a communication/ showcase project, but real development of a prototype that will be able to enter the market on normal market terms.

Digichalk transforms EPS-waste from the construction and packaging industry to a revolutionizing new building product. Through state-of-the-art robot technology, a new circular building system is created, enabling cost-effective construction of advanced, non-standard structures.

A 1:1 experience of recycling wood at the scrapyard.

With our project we wish to take the ideas of circular use of materials to the domain of landscape architecture by creating an upcycled alternative to concrete/stone paving. Our idea is simply put to start sawing these pieces out of concrete construction waste rather than using new concrete/stone.

Paving stones are one of the most widely used elements of landscape architecture found in both public settings such as streets or parks down to the small scale domain of the private garden. These elements are either cut stone (mined from the bedrock around the world) or cast from concrete (at a high cost in virgin materials such as sand and CO2 emissions from making cement).

RePanel is an interior wall panel system based on discarded wood from renovation and demolition. It is the first product in a circular universe of construction components obtained from urban mining

The vision for Old Facades combines a façade concept for reusing roof tiles with an existing international organization of locally based sales people and a central ambition for documenting the benefits of sustainable solutions

Reducing waste from construction during demolition, production and processing - and promoting circularity in projects - can be scaled and accelerated by the use of an exchange market for digital circular objects.

The question “how to create a zero-waste society?” is a wild challenge. To develop a wild solution for the built environment, matching this huge and multiple challenge, a radical innovation process is needed. Thus, we apply to conduct exactly that: A radical and open innovation project that requires high level courage, curiosity and a solid determination to dare cooperate, experiment and prototype into a yet unknown field. Our aim is to develop a solution that turns waste into a resource in the built environment, in a radical new and effective way.

Clay is a fantastic construction material, with an unparalleled environmental profile - not least seen in a circular perspective - and with remarkable aesthetic qualities and decorational possibilities.
In modern construction in DK clay has a large unredeemed potential, in part due to a lack of standardised products in the Danish market. With this project we want to develop the basis for three new product liner: Clay Plaster Mortar, Light Clay Blocks and Finish Layer for Clay Floors. The project should realise optimal material compositions, and the finished materials should be tested both by crafts people and in laboratories.

With Circrete we intend to create new value form otherwise devalued concrete by creating a line of new circular building products with massive scalability, global reach and intriguing architectural potential.

The vision of Circrete is to praise the aesthetic qualities in weathered or worn concrete structures by cutting them up to smaller parts that, when rearranged in the form of bricks, tiles or larger components offers great visual and tactile quality.

We aim to deliver circular building products, that handles a specific and continuing waste issue and at the same time offers new architectural possibilities.

Our vision is to create a solution to reuse and upcycle waste from the building industry directly from the building site straight to the resource hotel and back to a different building site. Materials that would otherwise have ended as waste. A design concept and process that includes the complete process for the waste with an integrated upcycling system and resource hotel - waste returning at the building site to be reused on a different building project. And this goes on and on. We believe that it is necessary to design a complete solution to handle all the challenges there is when dealing with upcycling building waste. The concept should also include a learning program provided by a Tour bus with an integrated showroom. The idea with an integrated learning program is to reach out all the way to the architects, engineers, demolition workers, craftsman and all people in the execution of a building project and construction process. Hopefully being motivated into that it makes sense to put an extra effort in to sorting and handle waste correctly. The vision is fulfilled when architects, engineers and designers start thinking about how the final design of a building, makes less waste in the end and when all parties involved in the execution of a building project, all the way from building owner to the constructions workers feels that it makes sense to put an effort in to sorting even small parts of waste.

In modern glass facades, the design and aesthetic expressions is predominated by aluminum details. This one sided use of aluminum is not only far from a circular mindset, is also creates lack of variation in the build environment and thus in our cities.

Our idea for the Circular Challenge is focused on rethinking the aluminum ’cap’ on glass facades: the profiling exterior element that is a main part of the impression of the overall facade design. In a large part of modern glass facades, the cap has no structural or mechanical importance for the façade’s function as building envelope.

The idea of the “Circular Renovation Project” is to focus on circular construction elements in the energy renovation process to be more biobased, circular, and with reused materials and construction methods. A selected groups og technology providers form an EU project shall innovate their new products to more bio-based solutions and will be used in a case i DK.

BYGAARD - Europe’s Largest Rooftop Farm, the prototype of BOXFARM’s plug and play solutions.
Urban farms has been popping up world wide. Unfortunately few have failed make a profit, and therefore can not scale. This is specifically true to The Western World, where most projects try to reinvent the wheel, rather than using proven technologies.
During the past 5 years, our team has developed the Danish Urban Farming, UF, scene in Denmark. Designing and implementing urban farming projects, for the likes of Restaurant Noma, Amass Restaurant numerous other clients.
Through this experience, we have distilled 3 individually scalable farm solutions for the production of organic mushrooms, microgreens and vegetables. Each of these models are based on standardized and proven technology and designed with a minimal viable size to make full time employment and an ROI for an investor in less than 3 years .
The plot for the prototype has already been secured. 3.000 m2 vacant parking lots, will be turned in to, BYGAARD - Europes Largest Rooftop Farm, and Denmarks first profitable Urban Farm. A circular business model, which structure is based on repurposed ISO components to ensure recyclability, while the biological production is based on local organic waste, upcycled through each production.
- Combined generating a revenue of more than 12 million DKK, 10 full time jobs and a range of replicable business models.

The built environment is a huge anthropogenic stock of accumulated masonry material. By the present approach, this stock becomes an assessible secondary resource in future urban mining.
Masonry from demolitions are applied as a controlled and documented resource in construction products for inner walls and façade cladding. The solution will bridge the gap between masonry waste and the production line of new construction products.
Processing aggregates from masonry transform the waste into a new heavy inorganic building material (HIB). This process is based on a known technology from calcium-silicate industry and yields a new material very similar to calcium-silicate blocks in which masonry aggregates replaces virgin sand.
Full scale business would be able to return a significant part of the annual masonry waste flow to the production line and to keep this resource within the circular resource loop of construction materials. Industrialization and upscaling of the solution will reduce the loss of resources and the need for virgin materials.

Denmark produces 4,1 mio tons of construction and demolition waste yearly. An estimate of 50.000 tons of this waste comes from timber used for temporary construction at building sites. Timber used for temporary construction is particularly interesting from the circularity perspective because its life span is very short, the product is not significantly changed or exposed to hazardous substances and the volumes disposed of today as combustible waste are significant.

Our idea is to develop and implement a process where timber from temporary constructions is collected, checked, processed and sold for reuse in the same function. In order to make the reuse of this material readily available, easy, cheap and reliable, it will be introduced as the first reused material into large-scale retail sale at STARK.

By introducing a cheap and sustainable alternative to new building materials in large-scale retail sale, the solution will help remove barriers across the supply chain for reused building materials, helping the building industry to perceive waste as a resource thereby contributing to a paradigm change to circular economy.

ReSkur is a high quality shed building system for household and office buildings unheated storage space (waste fractions, bicycles, etc.) build and rebuild from recycled roof materials

Innovative production technology offering a very competitive solution for turning paper sludge waste from recycled paper production into high quality building boards for the construction industry.

Squarely makes the cities greener by adding the element of nature to our living and working spaces while giving new life to waste materials.

Squarely’s high-quality wooden plant boxes with the self-watering system help people to grow plants easily. At the same time as made from up-cycled materials, they demonstrated the value of rest and considered as waste materials raising the awareness of wasteful production.

This research will proof the concept of constructing sustainable and optimized structures with a new circular material using arctic local materials obtained from the Greenlandic food industry’s waste and other abundantly available constituents by large-scale 3D-printing [Figure 1].

Greenland’s building industry is challenged by the absence of local building materials. Therefore, almost all wood and cement for constructions need to be imported. The remoteness of the country and its towns make this extremely costly and creates high dependence on the mainland. At the same time, the country calls for sounder strategies of waste management, which prevents waste from ending up as landfill1 [Figure 2]. Due to its extreme climate and poor accessibility, circular and novel approaches are essential for the sustainable development of the Greenlandic built environment.
The project aims on breaking new ground for the reuse of discarded organic materials for constructions in Arctic Regions, by demonstrating the potential of a new sustainable composite, which the applicants call ‘Biopolymer Concrete’ (BPC). An application for additive construction methods, i.e. large-scale 3D-printing, is envisaged to enable the construction of structural components with a minimum of material use. Compared to usual construction methods, 3D-printing is using rather small machining units and shows therefore exceptional potential for remote regions.
As a result, the first technical application of BPC will be implemented as a prototype of an optimised construction. This structure will be presented under the name of ‘BIOSTRUCT 01’.

To upcycle ventilation pipes instead of re-melting the recycling material and using a simple processing method to make it in to high-quality gutters, that can be used in the construction industry as a well-known product.

REBUILD will create a platform that recycles building materials and matches stakeholders B2B. High availability of recycled building materials in a unified, certified volume is key to scale circular economy and environmental impact.

Our world is drowning in plastic and we need to find solutions. Plastwool® is insulation for the future. A new sustainable insulation solution that can take the waste out of the human wicked plastic dilemma. An alternative cradle to cradle approach based on reused and upcycled plastic waste to support two relevant sustainable development goals.
The insulation marked is worth north of 190 billion kr. and is expected to grow 8 % per year towards 2020. In Europe mainly because of increased EU energy accuracy demands and the overall ambition to reach energy neutrality.
Plastic is a relatively new material which went into industrial production only in 1907. It now pervades industrial and consumer goods, and modern life is unthinkable without it. It’s a waste challenge that can be reduced but also a material and waste challenge that will not go away any time soon due to its different affordances. Plastwool® will change that to transform our world.
Macro trends linked to the environment and the fight against a climate tipping point, urban growth, rising energy prices and a growing middle class all over the world will contribute to an increased political focus. The same goes for professionals (i.e. public authorities and their buying power) and other market voices that will drive the construction and renewal industry adapt to new sustainable solutions.

We transform waste wood into beautifully designed kitchen elements as part of sustainable kitchen designs. The waste wood is used for a unique cabinet front, and new cabinet boxes are constructed from certified plywood. The old kitchens and cabinets are included in the circular concept - and are not treated as mere waste.

In Europe up to 2 mil. tons roofing felt waste are produced yearly. Roofing felt contains 55% oil and is therefore a valuable resource. However, only about 30,000 tons are recycled – the majority ends up in incineration plants or landfill. By turning roofing felt waste into a quality, recycled product, the CO2 emissions and dependence on virgin oil of Europe can be reduced. We will therefore develop and demonstrate a new processing pipeline, which makes it possible to extract oil from roofing felt waste. Upcycling of roofing felt waste will ensure resource efficiency and a reduced amount of waste and CO2 emissions in EU. The project will develop a high temperature Waste to Oil (WtO) plant and combine it with a patented technology for the production of roofing felt granules, yielding a new combined approach. The new recycling process is a continuous, non-waste generating process that can be set up locally, creating potential for widespread use across EU. The results will allow us to be first movers in this field of recycling of construction waste ensuring resource-efficiency, handling of a waste problem and reduction of CO2 emissions.
The project will develop a new technology for asphalt production of 100% recycled materials in a new circular business model. In the EU, approx. 50 million tons of crushed used asphalt (RAP) are produced per year and only approx. 1/3 is recycled – the rest is stored and accumulated. The same problem applies to roofing waste containing 55% bitumen oil. Approx. 1.5 million tons of roofing waste are produced annually in the EU, the majority of which ends on landfill or in incineration plants. There is therefore a great untapped potential in the asphalt and roofing felt quantities. In the traditional asphalt production in Denmark, approx. 200,000 tons of virgin bitumen are consumed per year, throughout the EU approx. 2.5 million tons. The aim of this project is to reduce the large waste volumes and exploit the available resources by substituting virgin resources with 100% recycled materials. Through the development of an innovative asphalt production unit, asphalt can be produced without the use of virgin oil and virgin stone materials. The project combines patented technology for the production of roofing granules with a whole new type of production plant, which, most importantly, can produce asphalt without the use of new bitumen. The establishment of a true circular solution and utilization of all the resources in the waste will contribute to achieving the national and European goals of a no-waste society.

The FR Acoustic textile Felt is an Up-cycled product designed from post-production and consumer waste streams of fire retardant polyester textiles. Through simple mechanical processing, Really can re-manufacture otherwise discarded textiles, such as selvedges, default production, cut offs and used items, into acoustic material applicable in the architectural and building industry.
Both as aesthetic wall covering or inbuilt construction solutions, improving the indoor climate, acoustics and usability of spaces through a flexible and modular alternative to existing solutions.
Through its inbuilt material passport, the material is transparent for its intended customers and end users, telling the story of a conscious choice and facilitates its continuous reuse.

mobile recycle stations
usage of plants in Construction
shipping of Waste
stop the use of plastic packing

We are upcycling plastic, to everyday products and in time building materials, trying to develop a recycled-plastic-tile, to be used in bathrooms.

Unlocking coffee's health potential. We recycle Spent Coffee Grounds (SCG) to extract high value compounds and produce ingredients for the cosmetics, functional foods and nutraceuticals markets.