Every year, the City of Copenhagen engages in large-scale construction and renovation projects which hold the potential for direct reuse and recycling of materials. The City Council decided in September 2019 to test a system-wide governing tool by introducing new criteria on the reuse and recycling of building materials in the tender material for municipal construction projects. All prospective municipal construction and renovation projects have been screened and six sites have been chosen for a pilot test of the new tender criteria. The test is expected to provide important experience to the municipality and the construction sector on costs and the reuse and recycling of concrete materials.
The construction sector is a large greenhouse gas emitter, and there is a need to find systemic solutions to close the loop of building materials. According to the Danish Technological Institute, about 40 pct. of Denmark’s contribution to global warming is related to construction building, while the sector accounts for 30 pct. of waste production.
The first results show that the total expenditure of two of the pilot projects is expected to increase by 5 to 10 pct. while the total expenditure of a third project is expected to be unchanged or marginally smaller. The potential for reducing the city’s built environment is therefore promising.