Communication partners of Nordic Sustainable Construction

Nordic Stakeholders Met in Brussels to Discuss Their Contribution to the Construction Transition

Publiceret 08-05-2024

Nordic knowledge sharing among communication partners focused on experiences of involvement, collaboration and defining targets and actions to accelerate transition in the construction sector. Nearby transformation project inspired with local insights on circular construction, biobased materials, and reuse of exiting building stock.

Group photo of nordic accelerators

Stakeholder Engagement to Make a Transition

The newly revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) states, that all member states must provide national roadmaps and set targets to reduce lifecycle emissions from the build environment by December 2027. Such a roadmap can give clarity in the sector, in regards to what demands to prepare for. It is not a simple task to make such a roadmap and especially not to ensure smooth implementation.

However, a central experience from the Nordic countries might serve as inspiration in this task. In most of the Nordic construction industries, stakeholders from across the value chain have gathered forces to help set direction and accelerate the transition in the construction sector.

To foster sharing of knowledge and experiences, Nordic Sustainable Construction facilitated a meeting in Brussels with some of the programme’s communication partners. Elly Kjems Hove and Charlotte Crockett Jørgensen from the Danish Construction Federation participated together with Emma Bonnevier from the Swedish Construciton Federation, Marius Thomassen from House of Industry (Faroe Islands) and Trine Dyrstad Pettersen from Construction Products Norway.

Nordic construction stakeholders working together and sharing knowledge

Sharing Experiences from Nordic initiatives

Initiatives from the industry is key to achieving a successful and cost effective transformation of the construction sector. At the stakeholder meeting, the most discussed topic was the importance of gathering the sector and together propose specific targets, actions, and considerations on how best to support the need for upskilling and having sufficient work force. The participants also discussed the importance of ensuring commitments from the top level in the companies, as well as focusing on climate and using, maintaining and optimising the existing building stock. Lastly, the group also emphasised the importance of digital solutions.

At the meeting, some of the stakeholders had the chance to present their work with involving the sector. Elly Kjems Hove and Charlotte Crockett Jørgensen from the Danish Construction Federation dove into their initiative Construction Framework for Sustainability, and Emma Bonnevier presented the Swedish Roadmap 2045.

This illustrates how various initiatives are already happening across the Nordic countries with the aim of fostering collaboration across the sector, create engagement towards specific targets and involve different stakeholders.

See an overview of initiatives from the Nordic construction sector here

Our communication partners

To ensure that the results from the Nordic Sustainable Construction programme are reaching the industry, we are collaborating with significant stakeholder voices in each of the Nordic countries. We call them our communication partners.

The communication partners meet four times a year to get an update on the latest results from the programme and share their knowledge and experiences with each other and get inspired.

The communication partners are:

  • Bärkraft (Åland)
  • Construction Products Norway (Norway)
  • Danish Construction Federation
  • DK-GBC (Rådet for Bæredygtigt Byggeri)
  • Federation of Icelandic Industries
  • GBC Finland
  • House of Industry (Faeroe Islands)
  • Swedish Construction Federation
Usquare site visit in Brussels

Real Life Inspiration from Usquare in Brussels

Another goal for the gathering was to gain inspiration on how to better utilize existing building structures, reuse materials and implement design for disassembly and biogenic products.

Therefore, the group visited Usquare, an innovative transformation project of old military barracks transformed into an open, mixed and multifunctional district. The site comprises 3.85 hectares and 22 buildings, with a total of 56.500 m² of workspace. One of the first finished project represents a research and education centre, which is a merge of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) hosting their new international research centre, which will serve as a living lab that is open to the city.

The whole project has a strong focus on reuse, with “waste streams” from the dismantling of neighboring buildings and a circular approach.  Emile Deroose, Team leader at BC architects & studies, the architect behind the project, inspired the group and sparked conversations about solutions beyond the usual. 

Hemp concrete (hempcrete) from Usquare



Also on a building material level the project was non-traditional and included bio-based materials such as clay plasters and hempcrete.

High Level Construction Forum 

The following day, the group participated in the High Level Construction Forum organised by DG GROW. Read more about the forum in this news article.