Interreg CHARM Project Kick-Off Meeting
The Interreg project, CHARM, had its kick-off meeting last week in Eindhoven, hosted by the Dutch housing association, Woonbedrijf. CHARM stands for Circular Housing Asset Renovation & Management – No more downcycling, and EFL is the lead communication partner. The project aims to reduce the amount of waste in the housing construction sector. The building sector is responsible for more than 60% of resource use in Europe, with more than 30-50% of material use taking place in the housing construction sector.
The first day of the kick-off meeting was for project partners. The housing association partners include the EFL member, Paris Habitat, as well as other associations like Accord Housing Association, Zonnige Kempen, and Woonbedrijf. The four housing associations discussed the different types of circular building strategies that will be tested in each of their demonstration exemplars. The group discussed each of their schemes in detail, such as Accord’s plan to produce 12 virtually plastic-free dwelling, Paris Habitat’s goal to show that upcycling is possible and cost-effective through renovations and transformations, Zonnige Kempen’s work on producing a material exchange platform and convincing people of the value of second-hand elements, and Woonbedrijf’s initiative of developing 3 different types of circular houses. The group then visited the work site where Woonbedrijf will begin their exemplar.
The second day was the Inspiration Meeting and was open to all whom were interested. Project partners came together with associate partners and other interested social housing associations, such as the EFL member Habitare+, to strategies about how to implement circular principles in social dwellings. They asked questions like: How do we define circular housing? What value does circularity offer tenants? Are social housing associations willing to pay for circular buildings? How are other social housing associations implementing different strategies?
The CHARM Inspiration Meeting concluded with a site visit to the circular deconstruction company, A. van Liempd Sloopbedrijven BV. They have the first and true web-shop of reclaimed materials in the Netherlands. All items are origin traceable, as they strive for transparency. They explained how sustainable, circular demolition is more cost effective than traditional demolition and the benefits of re-use versus recycling. The group learned about the different materials most often re-used, the material inventory, and the work they do with social housing company, Woonbedrijf.
All in all, the CHARM kick-off meeting was an absolute success! EFL is proud to be a part of such an innovative and sustainable project. CHARM is still accepting associate partners. If you are interested, please contact Alix Goldstein, General Consultant for EFL, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about CHARM, check out the CHARM website at www.nweurope.eu/CHARM.