If we continue building, demolishing and discharging as we do today, we will destroy the planet. About 8% of the world´s total CO2 emissions comes from cement production. To preserve the planet, we need to develop building materials that can be recycled.
"At Lendager Group we have developed and brought to market a range of recycled concrete solutions. For instance, we have built an entire project using recycled concrete, and we have developed a concrete tile where 45% of the tile is recycled products. Recycling is the only sustainable way forward”, argues Anders Lendager, founder and CEO of Lendager Group, an innovative construction company specialised in creating sustainable buildings.
With focus on minimising waste and making the most of resources the circular economy seems to be a part of the solution.
“Today, the construction industry is looking into combining different materials and reusing materials to develop more sustainable housing. For instance, as societies transition from fossil fuels to green energy there will be tons of steel available from decommissioned oil platforms. Steel that we can reuse in our buildings. We can also reuse plastic for insulation, and instead of fired building bricks it is now possible to compress natural clay into a brick and thereby avoid the massive CO2 emission from burning the bricks”, he adds.
New houses must also help solve local problems
In recent years, the Nordics have focused on developing houses with high energy efficiency, and today most new houses are energy neutral due to better insulation and alternative green energy sources like solar and highly efficient heat pumps. This environmental consciousness is predicted to expand and also include solving financial and societal issues soon.
“For years, the mantra in the building industry was to build cheap and maximise profits. Green solutions were only an option if they were cheaper than the standard solution. But in the past 1-2 years, this has changed. We now have evidence showing that the total cost of ownership of a house is less with green solutions, e.g. because you can reduce the water or energy consumption. Green solutions have become a value driver for the price of housing. And, on top of this, this circular economy, is making an impact on issues such as waste handling, developing affordable green housing and creating new jobs”, explains Anders Lendager.
The winners are green
He expects that sustainable housing will become standard in the future. Mainly because the lifespan of a building is being shortened.
“Today, an office building has a lifespan of 20 years, and a residential building a lifespan of 30-50 years. That´s extremely short and underlines the need for sustainable building, especially having in mind the boom in new housing following the urbanization. I believe the winners of the building industry will be the ones who develop recyclable modular building components which can be used again and again. They will get the license to build from government authorities, and they will also be able to build more affordable and still with an attractive profit”, ends Anders Lendager.