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On 10 January, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed plans to demolish and rebuild the post-war social housing estates which don’t fit for purpose anymore, moreover their design foster poverty and crime.
He added his plans to rebuild these estates with government money to offer affordable housing accessible for all.
The government will look into possibilities on how investment e.g. pension funds) might be unlocked and draw up a list of sites that could benefit from rebuilding.
Live from the European Union
Netherlands takes over the Presidency of the Council of the EU
On 14 January 2016, the Dutch Presidency came to the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament to present its priorities. State Secretary for Infrastructure and Environment, Ms Dijksma focused on 4 topics:
In the Q&A session MEP Peter Liese (Germany,EPP) underlined that not only Energy Intensive Industries must bear the burden of CO2 emissions cuts.
Main points of the intervention of Ms Dijksma:
Next steps in Environment Council:
European Environment Agency report on Circular economy in Europe - Developing the knowledge base
On 18 January 2016, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published its report Circular economy in Europe - Developing the knowledge base . It says, that “creating a circular economy requires fundamental changes throughout the value chain, from product design and production processes to new business models and consumption patterns.” Recycling will turn waste into a resource and extending product lifetimes will help preserve natural resources.
A specific construction example is mentioned: Waste prevention in the construction sector in Austria
“The Austrian waste prevention programme identified construction and infrastructure development as one of the key sectors for waste prevention and developed a building-passport concept as part of a building material information system (Reisinger et al, 2014). This aims to connect architects, suppliers and statistical registers to enable the careful, selective demolition of buildings, enabling reuse and high-quality recycling of building materials, and to support the prevention of waste by extending the use of houses through improved maintenance schemes.
The building passport includes all of the necessary information for the waste-light operation of buildings, and records all building activities, incorporated materials and technical equipment (Rechberger and Markova, 2011). Following several pilot projects, the Austrian waste prevention programme is now working to standardize building passports and increase their use.”
EU Common Urban Agenda
On 25 January, the Regional Development (REGI) Committee of the European Parliament and the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) jointly organised a public hearing about the EU’s common urban agenda and the future Pact of Amsterdam. The programme included several experts and researchers on urban policy.
The Public Hearing started with the presentation of a study by METIS GmbH on "The growth potential of an integrated EU urban agenda", followed by short presentations by four experts, questions and answers session, and concluded by an intervention by the Commission (DG REGIO) on the proceedings.
According to the speeches, sustainable land use, accessible housing and urban poverty are integral part of the future EU Urban Agenda.
It was emphasized several times that concrete actions; coordinated (local, regional national and EU level) and integral policy are needed for the success, besides the obvious political will.
The Sustainable Urban Development is one of the main priorities of the Dutch Presidency who aims to adopt the Pact of Amsterdam by May 2016. The Pact of Amsterdam will contain the operational framework of the EU Urban Agenda and will elaborate on its goals. The focus will be on better regulation, better funding and better knowledge exchange.
Press Release – COTER
National Award Winner Projects
British Precast Concrete Federation (BPCF) - Best Practice Awards
The British Precast Best Practice Awards are presented annually to BPFC members who enter into the five categories: Health & Safety, Outstanding Contribution to Health & Safety, Innovation, Project, and Sustainability.
Sustainability Award: H+H UK
Sustainability is an increasingly important issue for the concrete industry and all British Precast members are committed to improving their performance on the environmental impact of their products and systems. The 2015 Sustainability Award recognised the work carried out by H+H UK for their energy management system & reduction.
A range of policies and procedures were developed to manage energy consumption which has resulted in 20% reduction in energy usage per m3 of product in 2014 from 2009 levels. H+H UK was one of the first manufacturers to be certified to EN 16001, which was followed by certification to the international energy management standard ISO 50001.
5 February 2016
The Concrete Initiative
9 February 2016
CPE TG CPR implementation
11 February 2016
22 February 2016
ECP Workshop Thermal Mass
2 March 2016
ECP Public seminar on Thermal Mass
2 March 2016
BIBM Technical Commission
9 March 2016
BIBM Environment Commission
15 March 2016
CPE Sustainability WG
16 March 2016
CPE CPR WG
22 March 2016
CPE Event Parliament
24 March 2016
European Masonry Alliance
15 April 2016
Notified Bodies SG 13
19 April 2016
BIBM Board meeting
21 April 2016
CEN/TC 229/WG 1
To the Newsletter of Construction Products Europe (former CEPMC), please follow this link.
To read the Quarterly Newsletter of The Concrete Initiative, please follow this link.
List of Acronyms:
AhG – Ad-hoc Group
CPE - Construction Product Europe
CPR – Construction Products Regulation
C&D waste – construction and demolition waste
DG GROW - Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
ECP - European Concrete Platform
EMA – European Masonry Alliance
JRC – Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
PCR – Product Category Rules
TF – Task Force