Opportunities for Circular Economy within the Irish construction and demolition sector

June 04, 2021

On June 1st 2021, Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH) along with The Netherlands Embassy in Dublin and The National Platform for Circular Manufacturing CIRCULÉIRE hosted the webinar titled ‘Circular Construction & Demolition, Ireland’, with the goal of highlighting the existing and potential opportunities for Circular Economy within the Irish construction and demolition sector.

Ireland is one of HCH’s published spotlight countries, having identified promising potential for a transition to a circular economy in many sectors, including construction and demolition. Click here for an overview of CE priority areas in Ireland.


A recap of the webinar session

The webinar featured an esteemed lineup of speakers / panelists representing seven organizations from both The Netherlands and Ireland. We were honored to have his Excellency Mr. Adriaan Palm, Ambassador of The Netherlands in Ireland to open the webinar with a warm welcome and introduction affirming The Embassy’s continues support to Dutch industry representatives looking to operate in the Irish market.

“The circular economy should be the economic model of the future. For us, The Dutch Embassy, sustainability is the key priority for cooperation with Ireland” – Ambassador Adriaan Palm.


After that, Freek van Eijk, Director at HCH and moderator of this webinar, kicked-off the webinar attended by 117 participants and 6 panelists. Following a brief introduction on HCH and on Circular Construction & Demolition, Dr. Geraldine Brennan of CIRCULÉIRE took the stage to tell us how CIRCULÉIRE is supporting the Irish industry in capturing circular advantage.


The first speaker of the webinar was Mr. Wytze Kuijper of Cirkelstad, highlighting how by implementing the Dutch building policy it is possible to foster public-private collaboration in cities.

Second speaker, Mr. Otto Friebel, director of BRBS Recycling, who spoke about the importance of policy in enabling The Netherlands to recycle more C&D waste.

Third speaker, Mr. Ton van der Giessen, CEO of Van Werven, spoke about his organization’s experience in Ireland and how it is a great place for doing business despite some existing barriers when it comes to plastic C&D waste recycling.

Moving on to the Irish side, Mr. Micheál Keohane of BAM Ireland gave a presentation on the importance of designing buildings “for the next 100 years” and making sure they are fit for purpose and flexible to adjust and dis-assemble.

Following was Mr. Brian Kennedy of VisionBuilt, highlighting the role of digitalization, among others, as a key enabler of circularity in the construction secotr.

Last to speak but not least was Mr. Pat Barry, CEO of the Irish Green Building Council IGBC, stressing that we have 8.5 years to cut Ireland’s CO2 emissions by half in order to reach the nation’s 2030 target, and the importance of measurements and Life Cycle Assessment in reaching this goal.

The round of presentations was followed by a panel discussion that included many interesting questions for the audience.

Rewatch the full webinar!