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Circle House Lab develops future standards for circular construction and gathers over 100 circular frontrunners across the building industry.

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Circle House Lab aims to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy in the Danish building industry. Experience shows that the change from linear to circular economy results in a number of challenges, that need to be solved on a global scale, by collaboration throughout the industry.
As the name indicates, the Circle House Lab is a laboratory. Members commit to engaging with experimental solutions and work collaboratively across the industry. The knowledge gained in Circle House Lab will be the starting point for the development of a European standard for circular processes and products. The project is supported by Realdania and MUDP and runs from spring 2019 to summer 2021.
Circle House Lab is open for everyone with an interest in building circular, just get in contact with us.



How valuable are the materials from an old building if they are to be recycled? Do the materials have the same strength and characteristic as when they were new? Questions like these need answers, if the building industry is to be transformed – From a linear production to circular economy, from single usage to multiple reuse.

The building industry accounts for 38% of the produced waste in Denmark. Renovation and demolition alone account for the 27%. Selective demolition can make a difference to these numbers however, it requires building owners who consistently demand selective demolition and reuse when offering demolition jobs, as well as new marketplaces and collaborations.

Circular construction is a new definition of sustainable construction. Smaller CO2 prints are supplemented by minor imprints for all resources that are achieved by sharing, extending and reusing raw materials which are clean materials, as it does not make sense to recycle hazardous substances. Indoor climate and health are essential results.


When reuse and recycling are the norm in construction, buildings will be material banks with added value – even when they have to be demolished. This is not quite the case yet. But new products, experiments, initiatives and services are constantly emerging that test new forms of business and value creation within the circular economy.

Resources must be used again and again. Preferably by as many people as possible for the longest time possible. It is the focal point of circular economy, and take back-systems must ensure that it happens. The longer the life of the individual product, the more we save on globe resources. And when a product has finally consumed its value, the next best thing is that the product is being recycled for other purposes and thereby replacing primary resources.

Offering construction with circular principles such as recycling and circular designs, “design for separation” is difficult because it is relatively new. The agreements that regulate the construction, and which have been agreed between the construction parties, the client, consultant and contractor organizations, presuppose a fixed division of responsibilities. In addition, the Public Procurement Act, which regulates public developers, presupposes that clear requirements can be set for the construction, and that it is transparent how one lives up to and competes on these requirements.


In addition to serving as housing, Circle House is a scalable demonstration project that can give the construction industry new knowledge about the experience of circular building.

The transition to building circular implies, among other things, that the materials must be produced so that they can be separated. It is not just a purely technical challenge. Today, some of the elements in the building’s value chain are also missing, which are necessary for the materials to be recycled. Manufacturers will only in a few cases take back their own used products so that they can be sold again. And leasing, known from cars, is not yet developed for construction.

There is also a need to renew the traditional business models and ensure that the legislation supports recycling, whose circular construction really needs to accelerate. For example, it is currently unclear who is responsible for the quality and the material used.


The Circle House project wants to get closer to the answers to these challenges. So, the project analyzes value chains, business models, business cases and framework conditions. All results and recognitions are shared through a broad discussion of circular construction throughout the industry.

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The 3 processes of the laboratory


During the laboratory days each topic is under the loupe in the search for experimental solution. The topics will be processed through an alternating flow between speeches, presentations of best practice and discussions, and eventually lead towards several solution to the given challenge.


The information and solutions discovered in the laboratory will distributed through a Green Paper for a each of the six topics. Each Green Paper will be distributed through industry organizations and partners of Circle House Lab, aiming to share the knowledge with all the industry.


The Circle House summit will be hosted at BLOXHUB on the 24th of September. The summit will gather Building industry companies, research institutions, industry organizations, students and media. The essential discoveries from the laboratories and the key points from the Green Paper will be presented and discussed in a international stage.

Get your tickets here


Share the knowledge

Circle House Lab aims to push the industry towards a circular economy. The key to making a change beyond your own ability is sharing your knowledge. We believe that knowledge sharing is one of the strongest tools to cause a change. That is why we believe in opensource. The knowledge and discovery from Circle House Lab will be updated and shared on this webpage and in a cloud folder. For everyone to access!

To the knowledge cloud


First Steps towards a Circular Built Environment

The building sector faces a desperate need to become more sustainable. While the environmental and ethical cases push strong reason for change, the business case falls short. In collaboration with Arup and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, our latest report presents 5 business models which work towards completing the transition from our current linear economy to a more sustainable, circular economy. To read more, click the link below!

Download the Report here


In Denmark, the construction sector accounts for 1/3 of the total material waste volume, and globally for around 1/3 of carbon dioxide emissions. One of the reasons for this is that the economic model that prevails in the building industry today is linear. In real terms, this means that raw materials for construction are mined and excavated, building components are manufactured and subsequently used in buildings, and ultimately they end up as construction waste.
One possible solution to this immense challenge is to switch from a linear economy to a circular economy. The transition to circularity in the built environment means, for example, that products must be manufactured so that their constituent materials can be separated out. This is not only a technical challenge, but also calls for recirculation capabilities in the building industry value chain that do not as yet exist. In only a few instances do manufacturers take back their products for resale.
The Circle House project wants to get closer to the answers to these challenges. So, the project analyzes value chains, business models, business cases and framework conditions. All results and recognitions are shared through a broad discussion of circular construction throughout the industry. Realdania has supported this part of the work.


Circle House Lab builds on the circle of companies behind the Circle House project.

Circle House Lab is a continuation of the company developments and collaborations from the project Circle House. With Lejersbo as the developer, Circle House is designed to be the world’s first residential building constructed according to circular principles. The aim of Circle House is to create a circular example that is offered and built on market conditions. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.
Circle House Lab is run by GXN and Responsible Assets, in collaboration with Danish Standard.
Circle House Lab is anchored physically and digitally at BLOXHUB, where knowledge from projects and events can be accessed. The project is supported by: Realdania and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s Development and Demonstration Pool (MUDP).
Birgitte Ostertag
t: +45 6192 8230
Kåre Stokholm Poulsgaard

t: +45 6066 9820


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