Over the course of slightly more than a decade, the Brussels-Capital Region has undergone fast and positive change, achieving significant results in the energy sector. Brussels is a densely populated city with significant population growth and an economic sector oriented towards tertiary functions. Brussels does not have a territory that would permit the mass exploitation of renewable energy sources; the optimal solution therefore is to follow an ambitious policy aimed at improving the energy performance of buildings. In this context, after six calls for “Exemplary Buildings”, Brussels Environment (the environment and energy administration of the region) has taken the lead of an EU-funded innovation project called “Buildings As Material Banks” that addresses waste, recycling, reuse and resource efficiency in the construction sector.
The EU-funded BAMB project comprises 15 partners from 7 European countries to enable a systemic shift in the building sector by creating circular economy solutions. Today, building materials end up as waste when no longer needed, with effects like destroying ecosystems, increasing environmental costs, and creating risks of resource scarcity. To create a sustainable future, the building sector needs to move towards a circular economy. Whether an industry goes circular or not depends on the value of the materials within it: worthless materials are waste, while valuable materials are recycled. Increased value equals less waste, and that is what BAMB is creating – ways to increase the values of building materials.