Municipality of Amsterdam

Research on the impact of circular construction

The background

Together with Alba Concepts, Copper8 conducted an investigation into the impact of circular construction for the City of Amsterdam. The result? An analysis of both the financial costs and the social benefits of a circular apartment complex.


The City of Amsterdam wants to be a leader in the field of circular economics and is looking for ways to accelerate this development. Construction is one of the City’s two most important sectors, and market participants want to work intensively with circular construction. The number of companies constructing buildings, or making components for buildings, following circular principles is increasing rapidly.

The question

What is the impact of circular construction on building and investment costs? And what value does a circular building add? The City wants to set high requirements for circular construction in the grants it awards to developers. It’s important to know what the impact is, so that the City can take this into consideration when determining the land price. The benefits of circular construction will help embed circularity in the wider sustainability agenda.

Current situation and future

Before we worked out the impact of circular construction, we first determined the degree of circularity of a building. To do this, we developed a calculation methodology based on circular materials and their circular application.

The process

We started with our beloved ‘why’ question. Why, we asked the municipality, do you want to know the impact of circular construction? The calculated number is just a snapshot based on current technology and price levels. By asking this question we were able to correctly interpret the outcome of the calculation. In the final phase of our research, we spoke to as many of the parties involved as possible so we could also provide solutions. We wanted to know from them how they can contribute to the development of circular construction in Amsterdam.

The results

The research project ‘Impact Circular Construction’ has clarified three things:

  • A measurement method for the degree of circularity of a building
  • A calculation to determine the impact of circular construction
  • Three solutions to scale up circular construction

Parallel to this research, Metabolic and Search developed the Roadmap Circular Gronduitgifte.

“Copper8 and Alba have delivered a great performance, by way of a resounding and well-thought-out result. But they have also awoken the suppliers in the construction industry to circular revenue models – revenue models that will soon be standard in a circular building economy.” Jeroen van der Waal Advisor sustainability

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