Policies and Standards

Background

BAMB´s mission is to enable the shift to a circular building sector. EU as well as many national, regional and local governments see the advantages and need for a circular economy. The environmental and financial gains associated with a circular economy is in the best interest of society.

Environment, jobs, climate change and resource security are some of the often quoted incentives for authorities to strive for a circular economy. Governments on different levels can affect preconditions for a circular building sector through different incentives, policies, standards and regulations.

Policies and Standards

Policies and standards will have a crucial impact on the applicability of dynamic and circular building design. Lessons learned through the BAMB pilot projects and other topic areas has shed light on how policies, standards and public authorities can act as barriers or opportunities.

For example, experience from BAMB pilots has shown how current policies may not be suitable to support a circular building sector. Difficulties have been faced when applying for building permits as current rules are not reflective of circular ambitions for reversibility and quick adaptations, and the rigidity of building codes have made it challenging for some suppliers to develop innovative leasing models for their products.

Further regarding circular business model development, to determine innovation needs, the BAMB partners have analyzed the value network and how different roles interact. Policies, legislation and standards influence value creation. Governments and regulators can be influencing forces in all phases of a building’s lifecycle. In addition, public authorities have been identified as having a key role as early adopters and pathways to normalizing the use of circular tools like the Materials Passports, Reversible Building Design and Circular Building Assessment tools developed within the BAMB project.

Thanks to these insights and lessons learned so far, the BAMB partners are convinced more than ever of the necessity to tackle policies and standards in order to better facilitate the shift towards a circular economy. By early 2019, we aim to draft suggestions for future policies and standards to respond to existing barriers identified, reinforce existing legislation, and tackle areas not yet regulated.

The first step taken to develop this framework was to analyze policies and legislation in place in a selection of EU countries at local, state, and EU-level. A look at a vast range of topics and types of instruments identified a number of key opportunities and barriers such as policy fragmentation, an energy focus which may unintentionally hinder materials efficiency, and a static vision of buildings being embedded in current legislation.  See BAMB report “D1 Synthesis of the state-ofthe-art: Key barriers and opportunities for Materials Passports and Reversible Building Design in the current system” (pdf 4 MB)

The next step was to choose a few policy instruments from within the same geographic scope in order to dig deeper and determine what makes a policy successful for circularity? What makes a policy translate to impact? While ongoing, the anticipated outcome of these mixed method assessments is to be able to identify a selection of key factors contributing to policies’ effectiveness and to apply them more broadly to other circular instruments when drafting our policy suggestions.

Lessons learned through the exploration of best practices worldwide and exchanges with various actors, via governance platforms and the BAMB Special Interest Group on policies and standards,  will also serve as inspiration for the development of policy recommendations to better support a circular built environment.

Join the Stakeholder Network

Get involved in the BAMB project by joining the Stakeholder Network.

Who can join? Participation in the Stakeholder Network is open to all stakeholders in the building and construction industry, interested in exchanging ideas and knowledge and discussing the information and data needs necessary to enhance the European knowledge base.