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Circular construction is the new normal
Circular construction is the new normal
12 April 2019

Clients, contractors and scientists are putting a lot of work into the covenant programme ‘Samen Versnellen’ ('Accelerating Together’). The Dutch government has set itself an ambitious target: the Dutch economy must be circular by 2050 – and that includes the construction industry. After all, construction is an important sector within the economy, good for an annual production of 60 billion euros (around 7% of GDP), the direct employment of 458,000 people (around 5% of total employment) and substantial indirect employment.

To speed up the transition to a circular economy, governments and companies have developed the covenant programme ‘Samen Versnellen’ ('Accelerating Together’). Today the covenant is being signed by all the initiators, including VolkerWessels, at the Building Holland trade fair in the RAI convention centre in Amsterdam. VolkerWessels is contributing to the programme by using seven specific projects for research into circularity. In the coming years an independent team of auditors will assess the projects undertaken by all the partners involved. The outcome of the research will result in a useful toolbox for the entire construction industry.


Companies and governments have developed numerous projects within the construction industry to boost the transition to a circular economy. The time has now come to speed up the process together, according to Dutch government real estate company Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Municipality of The Hague, the Municipality of Utrecht, Dura Vermeer, Van Wijnen, VolkerWessels and BAM. That means involving more parties, creating a wider market, and above all understanding better how we can accelerate and reach the stage in which a circular construction economy becomes the norm.

Samen Versnellen (Accelerating Together).

Facilitated in part by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior, in the next three years these frontrunners are going find out what circularity means for their own building practice. Both with regard to content (what does it mean to tender, develop, design, etc. in a circular way?) and for the implementation (what do I have to do to make the entire organisation circular?). The 70 projects the partners aim to execute in a circular manner will be audited by a pool of advisors and their own project leaders. Scientific knowledge partners united in ACCEZ will be in control of all reporting and in doing so will be responsible for filling an operational toolbox and for working with the CB23 platform to create national working agreements. The toolbox should enable every party in the construction industry to work circularly in three years’ time.

Circularity is the new normal! We are wasting no time and are starting to increase the scale now. The metropolitan region of Amsterdam (MRA) is the first to urge all parties in the construction industry to join. The audits in the region will be performed by the MRA building programme (Bouwprogramma MRA). The toolbox is already being referred to in the Housing Deal that will be made with the Ministry of the Interior. So if you plan to build in the MRA region in the future, we will be doing so in a circular way!

 This is a translation of the Dutch press release.