New Circular Economy Business Model for More Sustainable Urban Construction

Assessing waste to resource opportunities

When thinking of developing circular business models in construction, entrepreneurs need to have access to relevant information on sources of secondary raw materials (SRM) as well as understand the economic, legal, policy, administrative and business environment in which the business model is to operate including the value and supply chains, main actors involved, their needs and expectations as well as benefits and constraints they may encounter. CINDERELA has developed and tested an approach for assessing the waste to resource potential that takes all these aspects into account.

The approach involves performing a material flow analysis (MFA) using an innovative, open source, GIM-based tool GDSE (Geodesign Decision Support Environment) customized to fit the MFA of different urban waste streams as sources of secondary raw materials. The tool provides information on the type, location, availability and quantity of waste, material flows, as well as their owners, managers and other businesses and administration actors involved.

After validation in six selected EU regions in Maribor (Slovenia), Umag (Croatia), Madrid-Henares corridor (Spain), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Trento (Italy) and Katowice (Poland), the tool will become an important element of the CINDERELA digital business ecosystem part of CinderOSS. Furthermore, to assess the waste to products potential, CINDERELA proposed a set of criteria relevant to valorize available waste streams as input materials taking into account their intended application as well as legal and administrative requirements. Although they were developed for the most promising waste streams identified for the needs of the project, they will contribute to the CinderOSS knowledge base. They will be also used for developing the SRM-based construction materials to be tested in the CINDERELA demonstration pilots.

In view of designing the CinderCEBM and CinderOSS that will work in different European contexts involving different economic, legal, policy, administrative and business aspects, CINDERELA entered into dialogue with stakeholders to get an understanding of the value chains, actors involved, their needs and expectations, as well as benefits and constraints of conventional versus alternative ‘circular’ value chains. The gathered information and feedback from stakeholders will ensure the usefulness of CinderOSS and CinderCEBM.