#Buildings and Construction

Topic within Circular City
Sandy Reitsma, Communication & PR at The Great Bubble Barrier, posted

The Great Bubble Barrier

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Every year, more than 8 million tons of plastic pollution ends up in our oceans of which 60-80% originates from rivers. Plastic does not biodegrade and causes great harm to the environment. Marine life gets entangled in plastics, vessels get damaged and microplastics form a health hazard for the smallest to the largest organisms. The Great Bubble Barrier has developed a technology which can intercept plastic pollution in rivers before it reaches the ocean: the Bubble Barrier, a bubble curtain with a catchment system.

The first long-term Bubble Barrier in the world was placed in November 2019 at Westerdok in Amsterdam.

Watch the video of Bubble Barrier Amsterdam.

The bubble curtain is created by pumping air through a perforated tube on the bottom of the waterway. We make use of the natural flow of the river. The plastic waste will be directed to the side and into our catchment system at the riverbank, where it will be retained and removed from the water.

- It does not hinder ship traffic
- It covers the full width and depth of the waterway
- It allows fish to pass

Visit the Bubble Barrier Amsterdam at Westerdoksplein.

Will the next Bubble Barrier be in your river or city? Send The Great Bubble Barrier a message!

Sandy Reitsma's picture #CircularCity
Ruben Lentz, Concept Developer , posted

CO2 Smart Grid

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How will we provide food to growing cities with a shrinking amount of agricultural land? How can we provide enough fresh water for everyone? Just as relevant: how should we make the transfer to a safe, clean and reliable energy supply?

How will we provide food to growing cities with a shrinking amount of agricultural land? How can we provide enough fresh water for everyone? Just as relevant: how should we make the transfer to a safe, clean and reliable energy supply?

The large amount of CO2 put into the atmosphere because of human activity causes climate change, threatening our quality of life and security and that of future generations. This has been acknowledged by (inter)national governments – for instance at the COP21 in Paris in 2015 -; They pledge large emission reductions. In the Netherlands, we aim for a reduction of 85-95 percent by the year 2050.

So, we have to reduce CO2 by expansive measures, and everyone should feel the responsibility to work on this challenge as effectively as possible. However, perceiving this issue as only a problem, by incrementally reducing CO2, will not lead to a satisfying end result. We should instead approach this as a huge opportunity for the Dutch economy. Our statement?


What is the situation?


CO2 is a raw material in for instance the horticulture and the chemical industry. This is a business case with growth potential.

What do we want to do?


Use CO2 in a smart way so we can reduce the use of raw materials of fossil origin.

Ruben Lentz's picture #Energy
Sladjana Mijatovic, Program Manager at City of Amsterdam, posted

Road as materials depot

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increasing recycled materials in asphalts

Sladjana Mijatovic's picture #CircularCity
Sladjana Mijatovic, Program Manager at City of Amsterdam, posted

3D printing with local residual products (plastic waste)

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Extra information

The Amsterdam ArenA (one of the most sustainable stadiums in the world) replaces in the run-up to the Euro 2020 all stadium seats and would like to do so in a socially responsible way.

It involves approximately 48,000 hard plastic chairs on metal frames and 4 to 5,000 more luxurious upholstered chairs of corporate boxes and grandstands. Along with Better Future Factory, an innovation and design firm specializing in recycling of plastic waste flows, the HvA will examine with the ArenA in what way the seats can be reused preserving the highest value as possible.

Amsterdam ArenA and HvA will explore one of the scenarios in collaboration with 3D4Makers, a company that works with (recycled) plastic filament for printers using Fused Deposition Modelling. The question is how the material of the stadium seats behaves with these processing techniques considering the impurity of the material.

In addition, this project investigates the technical and aesthetic properties of the processed material in order to determine what can be made for this type of products.

Sladjana Mijatovic's picture #CircularCity
Sladjana Mijatovic, Program Manager at City of Amsterdam, posted

PUMA: Prospecting the Urban Mines of Amsterdam

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exploring Amsterdam's 'urban mine'

Conclusion & results

Overall, most assumption were found to remain valid, although the validity of some assumptions could not be indicated, specifically due to the lack of access to roof spaces. However, five assumptions were found to be in need of revision, these are briefly listed in this chapter together with associated revision recommendations.

1. Buildings before 1900 were found to not include steel in the load-bearing

Construction year data from the BAG register is available, which could provide
an indication of the metal content of the load bearing structure. Inclusion of the
construction year in the dataset, combined with a with a lower steel score for
buildings built before 1900, should be considered.

2. Apartments smaller than 75m2 were found not to have a separate toilet and
bathroom, instead the toilet was present in the bathroom

The assumed amenities of the 55 - 75m2 standard apartment could be changed to
one kitchen and a bathroom with toilet. The impact on the metal content should
be researched and adapted when change is found to be significant.

3. Recently completed buildings were found not to be included in the database
It should be ensured that the database is kept up to date in order to account for
these recently completed building.

4. Some buildings with a non-residential function were found to (temporarily)
accommodate a residential function

To account for all residential buildings, a clear distinction needs to be made
between the residential function and use of the building. Although the currently
used BAG function distinction might very well be adequate, research on the
relevance of including buildings used for residential purposes, but with other
functions according to the BAG register is recommended. This research should
account for the metal concentration in these buildings versus the amount of
these buildings in Amsterdam.

5. Some buildings were found to use electric cooking appliances rather than gas
The absence of gas connections in the kitchen is likely to lower the copper content
of the building. Because policy objectives increasingly aim to disconnect from
the gas infrastructure (ECN, 2016), it is recommended to research its impact on
the amount of copper in buildings to be able to accurately estimate the copper
content in the future.

Download the publication.

Go to the projectsite.


Leiden University, Institute of Environmental Sciences: Ester van der Voet, Ruben Huele

Waag Society: Job Spierings, Ruben Huele

AMS Institute / Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment: Ellen van Bueren, Alexander Koutamanis, Boukje van Reijn

Metabolic: Anna Krotova

Industrial Ecology students: Luuk Gremmen, Sho Lin

Project leader / contact:

Ruben Huele, <a>urbmines@xs4all.nl</a>

Sladjana Mijatovic's picture #CircularCity
Sladjana Mijatovic, Program Manager at City of Amsterdam, posted

AMS institute: Circular City research programme

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To establish healthy and regenerative resource flows that retain or increase value in cities’ subsystems, there is dire need for new concepts as well as rigorous and critical testing of existing ones: both at an academic and practical level.


To establish healthy and regenerative resource flows that retain or increase value in cities’ subsystems, there is dire need for new concepts as well as rigorous and critical testing of existing ones: both at an academic and practical level. This relates to e.g. aligning & connecting flows, exploring shared value models, implementing smart sensing technologies, identifying displacement effects etc. The impact on how cities are conceived, materialized and operationalized in a circular framework can hardly be overstated. Some impacts can be imagined, based on current knowledge, but most can at best be anticipated. This is due to cities being complex, adaptive systems. This notion resonates in the AMS institute Circular City research program through the three subthemes: materials & buildings, nutrients recovery from wastewater, and urban energy systems.

Each subtheme has its own research priorities, determined by the interplay between city, society and science. Furthermore, the three themes comprise multiple interrelations and synergetic potential. Think for example of the role that wastewater can play in thermal energy supply or the circulation of building blocks for plastics and other materials. Or how local nutrient recovery systems inform building design and neighbourhood development. Other examples are e.g. ‘embodied’ water and material use required for the energy transition we are facing, and rebound effects that may occur when such an energy transition leads to lower energy bills.

Subtheme 1: materials & buildings

Resource depletion and waste generation are two phenomena that, due to their nonregenerative and polluting character, hinder healthy and sustainable development of urban environments. A shift from linear to circular resource management offers a potential solution, but requires new production and consumption models. Not least with regard to buildings and infrastructures. The main focus of this theme is on materials that are temporarily stored in built constructions for diverging – medium/long – periods of
time, but also short cycle materials, such as solid waste flows, are part of the scope.
Three scale levels are distinguished with regard to aligning flows & stocks: building,
neighbourhood, and region. The value cases associated with this theme revolve around: enhanced data-driven urban systems thinking that enable effective regenerative material flows, adding value to public or private organizations and society at large. Breakthrough innovations are linked to evidence based analytical and forecasting tools to determine optimal material (re-) circulation on the one hand, and matching value-bydesign with new business models on the other.

AMS projects e.g.: PUMA, Adaptive Circular Cities, REPAiR

Subtheme 2: nutrients recovery
Decentralised sanitation systems can play an important role in circular cities, with regard to resilient and cost effective wastewater treatment systems, while valorising the wastewater flow through: recovery of phosphates and other nutrients, biogas production, clean water, etc. Furthermore, those systems have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions and improve urban quality as perceived by the community. However, assessing this potential requires further study, monitoring and practical experience. Moreover, different solutions on various scale levels need to be taken into account from a circular perspective, such as the opportunities of end-of-pipe propositions. Value cases associated with this theme revolve around integrated wastewater treatment concepts for urban neighbourhoods, including its impact on local crop production and community building, and large-scale valorisation of wastewater through the production of algae.

Living lab focus areas: Buiksloterham, Floriade (Almere)

Subtheme 3: urban energy systems
Renewable energy systems are becoming increasingly important, not least in urban
environments, which offer specific opportunities, challenges, and limitations, dictated by their local urban context. The transition to renewable energy sources thus require
smarter energy infrastructures that are able to deal with increased variability in
consumption, storage and production at multiple scales and concerning multiple energy products and services. This theme focuses on innovation in energy systems engineering & integration, energy storage, and ICT, whilst adopting a citizen perspective. Value cases are based on: less dependency on fossil fuels, resilient adaptive systems, and meeting the changing needs of urban living. Traditionally, the energy system is organised in a top-down fashion, with a limited number of major players. Decentralized energy generation gives a need for reconsideration of such a hierarchical approach. Breakthroughs are sought in deep customisation of so called micro-grids, based on local supply & demand characteristics of the urban neighbourhoods and its energy users.

AMS projects e.g.: DC Smart, URSES, BIES

Main Research Infrastructure/Living Labs in Amsterdam:
Buiksloterham, Amsterdam Zuid-Oost, ArenA, Haarlemmermeer, and Floriade Almere.

For more information visite the AMS Institute website.

Sladjana Mijatovic's picture #Energy
Beate Bouwman, posted

Residential Living Lab

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The International Residential Living Lab (IRLL) stimulates and facilitates the founding of residential living labs. Residents test new housing solutions, components, materials, energy concepts and smart devices in collaboration with stakeholders to develop future-proof housing solutions. The IRLL has developed specialized methods and tools to co-create successful and continuous residential living labs. They cover the city of Amsterdam as other interesting sites in The Netherlands and abroad.

The tours offered differ in terms of length and content consisting of visits to sites, presentations, knowledge transfer, discussions with stakeholders and in-depth project developments. The prototype of the International Residential Living Lab has been placed on the campus of TUDelft and can be visited in combination with a special program on circular and smart urban housing. Different Residential Living Labs are under development with real life users, co-creation and data collection.

For more information or special programs get in touch with the IRLL.

Beate Bouwman's picture #CircularCity
Mara de Pater, Master Student at Wageningen University and Research, posted

Play the City: Circular City Tour

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Play the City offers a tour of the up and coming Buiksloterham area - the largest scale of circular city experiment in the Netherlands

Want to see Europe’s largest housing development madeout of sustainably sourced wood? Want to learn more about alternative officeparks made out of houseboats? Does the idea of a sustainable floating villageinterest you? Together with our research into the area, Play the City willprovide you with valuable insight into the way in which forces are being joinedto achieve the ambitions and goals set out for this exciting new area ofdevelopment in Amsterdam.

The City of Amsterdam wantsto accelerate the sustainability of the capital. In 2020 the city aims togenerate 20% more renewable energy per capita and will use 20 % less energy.

Buiksloterham in Amsterdam North has been identifiedas a living lab for circular area development, setting out ambitious goalstowards closed system flows and resource management. Based on the circulareconomy model, the development of this area with its polluted land stretchesand open spaces will become the center of the implementation of new cleantechnologies and a hub for the closure of urban material cycles, serving as thelargest scale of a live circular citymaking experiment.

The area is buzzing with activity, new developmentsare rapidly taking shape, entrepreneurs are passionately self-building theirdream homes and housing corporations are joining forces with self-builders.Investment in technologies are setting new building standards and developmentinitiatives are setting new standards for partnership collaboration models.

Mara de Pater's picture #CircularCity
Mara de Pater, Master Student at Wageningen University and Research, posted

De Gebouwengids

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Architecture and urban planning tours in Amsterdam

De Gebouwengids organizes tours in the field of architecture and urban planning. The organization is founded fifteen years ago and has developed a professional and passionate way to guide you through the city of Amsterdam. Redevelopment, sustainability and future development are central themes.Check here the broad offer of tours, through musea, parks, different neighbourhoods in the city, and much more.

Mara de Pater's picture #Citizens&Living
Mara de Pater, Master Student at Wageningen University and Research, posted

Park 20|20

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Cradle to cradle working environment

Park 20|20 is the first full service Cradle to Cradle working environment in The Netherlands. In Park 20|20 a unique level of sustainability is created together with a human centered design approach to realise the cleanest, most inspiring and productive working environment to date.

Cradle to Cradle® is an innovation platform developed by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart for designing beneficial economic, social and environmental features into products, processes and systems. Rather than seeking to minimize the harm we inflict, Cradle to Cradle reframes design as a positive, regenerative force—one that creates footprints to delight in, not lament.

20|20 Experience Center

The 20|20 Experience Center is a valuable meeting point of know-how and skills in the field of Cradle to Cradle. Alongside this, it acts as a showcase for the new way of working and its practical application. Visitors are welcome to come and discover more about Cradle to Cradle and the development of Park 20|20 on weekdays from Tuesday through to Friday. The Center is also available for hire for meetings, conferences and various types of events.

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Sladjana Mijatovic, Program Manager at City of Amsterdam, posted

Circular Buiksloterham

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Buiksloterham, on the northern bank of the IJ waterway, once the site of Amsterdam’s most polluting industries, is being transformed into a sustainable area to live and work.

The living lab is described in the following report.

Full report (english)

Full report (dutch)

Want to know more about the status of Circular Buiksloterham after 5 years of innovation and pioneering?

Join us during the Event 'Circulair Buiksloterham, 5 jaar later' on the 26th of March in Pakhuis de Zwijger. The event will be in Dutch. Check <https://dezwijger.nl/programma/circulair-buiksloterham-5-jaar-later>

Sladjana Mijatovic's picture #Energy
Kim Nackenhorst, Owner at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted


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RECURF focuses on the possibilities to process the new material combinations of bio-based plastics and textile residues in attractive circular products for interior and exterior uses

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Joan kramer, Owner at NDSM Energie, posted


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Tour with dinner included.

We give tours at weekends and in the evenings showing you the sustainable systems on the geWoonboot (duration 1 hour).

After the tour, you can dine on board (evening) or eat lunch (weekend).

The excursion ends with a guided tour around the inspiring NDSM Wharf, in which you will learn about the history of the former shipyard and its development into Europe’s largest creative incubator (duration 1 hour).

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Emma van der Veen, New business development | Product Management at Philips, posted


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Since 2010 De Dakdokters (The Roofdoctors) transform the roofs of Amsterdam. Let us show you some of our most interesting solutions and be inspired by our vision.

An excursion takes between 1,5 and 5 hours, depending on the number of roofs.

Emma van der Veen's picture #Citizens&Living