On Thursday 5 May 2022, over 150 built environment stakeholders across London convened at the CIRCuIT Networking event on material passports and the circular economy at The City Centre, a unique venue celebrating built environment innovation.
The event was opened by Catriona Brady, Director of Strategy and Development at the World Green Building Council, who delivered a reminder of the stark challenge facing the built environment sector: buildings account for over one-third of global material consumption, while less than 9% of global materials used are kept in productive cycles of use, and the circulation of harmful chemicals causes damage to human and ecosystem health.
The event continued with insightful and informative presentations from a panel of experts on built environment circularity, as follows:
Katie Lindsay, Principal Policy and Programme Officer, Greater London Authority outlined why and how London is embedding the circular economy into built environment policy, and highlighted the Mayor of London’s commitments to improving resource circularity in the built environment from the London Plan Guidance: Circular Economy Statements.
Ben Cartwright, Consultant, Strategic Advisory, BRE presented the work that BRE is conducting through CIRCuIT on obtaining data on material flows in the built environment in order to identify leverage points for actors with influence over material flows to change their actions to better support circularity of the material flow system.
Colin McColl, Director, Orms explained the concept of material passports as a means of giving materials an identity to help provide knowledge about a material which can then be leveraged as a tool in building design to improve the circularity of a project by helping design for disassembly, enabling greater material reuse, and more benefits.
Debbie Whitfield, Urban Impact Director, Fabrix delivered a developers’ perspective on how to implement the circular economy in projects, including through repurposing existing buildings, and using recycled materials such as reclaimed steel, and outlined the firm’s approach to urban mining to help reduce embodied carbon and achieve circular ambitions for the built environment.
A lively panel discussion with questions from the audience concluded the presentations, with the conversations, debates and networking continuing late into the evening over drinks and refreshments.