What role do secondary materials play in new constructions and in buildings renovation?

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Construction materials and products represent about 50% of all raw materials extracted from the earth's crust. Construction and demolition activities represent 50% of all waste generated.

The latest environmental and circular economy policies and techniques improving waste treatment mean that the construction industry should now be using secondary materials as an alternative to primary ones.

During the 2021 Circular Talk on "Construction and infrastructure value chains and market", stakeholders presented a framework for value chain collaboration in a circular/industrial symbiosis perspective. They also explored the market positioning of secondary construction and infrastructure materials. There is a whole series of issues regarding the use and application of these secondary materials in the construction sector.

Among the main barriers, stakeholders identified:

  • Waste quality control
  • Inadequate quality
  • Discontinuity of supply
  • Market acceptance
  • Lack of experience and guidance for ensuring the quality of reusable products.

The ECESP Leadership Group on Buildings and Infrastructure organised this #EUCircularTalks on 20 October from 10:00 to noon CEST. Watch the expert panel to find out just how effective the construction system is in using secondary materials from the supply chain and the advantages of that in terms of CO2 emissions and embodied energy using secondary materials.


  • Welcome by moderator
    Gaetano Bertino, Alchemia-Nova - ECESP LG C&I
  • Introduction
    Laura Cutaia – ENEA
  • Institutional intervention
  • Anders Ladefoged - European Economic and Social Committee
    Josefina Lindblom - European Commission
  • The role of circular and sustainable materials in the renovation of existing buildings
    Marco Caffi - Green Building Council (GBC) 
  • Qualified value chains of secondary materials for the construction sector: Circular Building in the Netherlands
    Janneke Leenaars - Interface
  • Considerations of construction SMEs on circularity
    Fernando Sigchos Jimenez - European Builders Confederation (EBC)
  • Tools and methods for “tracking” circularity of materials
    Werner Weingraber - Madaster
  • How digitalization and collaboration can lead to circularity?
    Dominik Campanella - Concular
  • The effects of using construction materials and products assessed/certified through LCA and EPD
    Ugo Pannuti - ICMQ
  • Good practices:
    Myriam Tryjefaczka - Tarkett
    Hubert Bukowski - Innowo
  • Mikaela Decio -  Mapei
  • Wrap up
    Gaetano Bertino, Alchemia-Nova
    Laura Cutaia, ENEA - ECESP LG C&I
  • Q&A session on the Spatial Chat