WP4 - Building lifecycle

The aim of WP4 is to assist companies to overcome barriers regarding knowledge on lengthening of building lifecycle and property owners needs for product and service development.

Best practice and study visits

Maintaining and remodeling existing buildings is far more resource efficient than building new ones. Choices of materials and products also affect a building’s service life and the health and wellbeing of the inhabitants. The circular economy approach includes great opportunities for prolonging building lifecycle and efficient building maintenance. In the beginning of the project, we will look for best practice and new research regarding models and experience in Service life planning (SLP) and Life cycle analysis (LCA) for private and public property owners. SMEs, that have already successfully introduced circularity into their business models, may serve as good examples to others. The same goes for property owners having built and is maintaining sustainable buildings. In the first stage of the project, we will therefore also visit some successful examples of best practice in order to establish cooperation on lecturers for a workshop on sustainable property management. These contacts can later also be valuable to the project target groups in their development process.

Market analysis and supply chain development

Circular economy is about looking at a system as a whole and seeing how it is all connected. We will therefore involve both company and customer perspectives in the project. Customers need to demand sustainable products and services, and the companies need to offer them. In order to ensure that supply meets demand, the project will perform a market analysis of the Botnia-Atlantica region, map existing supply-chains within the field of property maintenance and look for development needs. Companies rarely focus on innovations based on customer experience and engaging customers has appeared to pose a major challenge for most businesses. Here the project can play an important role. Since circular economy is based on the idea of material circulation, the project will ensure that the customers are included in the process in order to promote truly circular economy innovations.

Networking and workshops

Changing user behavior and linear consumption patterns in the direction of a more circular economy requires not only a change of company business model, but also opening dialogue and engaging with customers. Companies and property owners active within the property maintenance field will have the opportunity to network with like-minded actors and begin to form/strengthen already existing CE supply-demand chains.

Gender equality

A transformation into a circular economy will change the market of services and products. New actors will appear and traditional structures of people in the sector will change. This will also influence gender equality and employment structures. The project will describe this transformation from a gender perspective as well as identify and propose strategies to support gender mainstreaming. The project will give equal opportunities for men and women to participate in the activities and access to results. When considering best practice cases and lecturers to the workshop, both men and women will be engaged.

Communication of results

During the project, this WP will produce education materials on modern property maintenance and good CE models for property owners and their service providers to be used at the workshop and for later educational purposes. The work will also result in a report on the supply-demand situation regarding property maintenance in the Botnia-Atlantica region and on future needs for development (i.e. missing services). The WP results will also be published in professional and scientific articles and at Nordic/international conferences.


Contact persons

Niklas Frände, Novia University of Applied Sciences, Finland niklas.frande@novia.fi 

Thomas Olofsson, Umeå University/Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, Sweden thomas.olofsson@umu.se