Circl, a circular pavilion in Amsterdam, officially opened

Press release -

Circl, a new circular building in Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, was officially opened today by Kees van Dijkhuizen, CEO of ABN AMRO. Circl is an initiative of ABN AMRO. The bank plans to share the knowledge of circularity that it acquired while developing and constructing this circular building and to use this knowledge to advise clients. ABN AMRO recorded its experiences with this project in a report published today entitled Toekomstbestendig vastgoed bouwen: Aan de slag met circulaire verdienmodellen (Future-proof building: getting down to business using circular earning models). The report also describes the bank’s vision on opportunities presented by the circular economy in the construction and real estate industry and new earning models.

In the circular economy, materials are reused and virtually no waste is created. The design stage takes into account assembly in construction and deconstruction after use. Almost all of the materials used in creating Circl are second-hand, easily disassembled and able to be reused. ABN AMRO collected 16,000 pairs of old jeans from its employees which were incorporated into the ceiling and serve as insulation material. The window frames in the conference rooms were carefully removed from demolished office buildings. The furniture in Circl was previously used, and restored, by ABN AMRO. There are 500 solar panels on the roof, and the building uses direct current (DC) instead of alternating current (AC) to minimise loss of energy resulting from conversion.

Circular use

Besides conference rooms, Circl also has a restaurant, a rooftop bar and an exhibition space – all of which are open to the public. Circl’s circularity goes beyond the building itself. Circl employees wear uniforms produced from recycled plastic bottles, and the catering services employ people with occupational disabilities. The venue will host lectures and meetings focusing on social and economic issues, including new possibilities and solutions relating to the circular economy.

Sustainability

Kees van Dijkhuizen, CEO of ABN AMRO: “Circl fits in perfectly with ABN AMRO’s sustainability ambitions, which we refer to as Mission 2030. ABN AMRO is fully committed to making the homes and offices that it finances in the Netherlands more sustainable and wants to improve the energy efficiency of its entire real estate portfolio to an average of label A by 2030. By implementing circular earning models and facilitating this transition, we aim to make a bigger contribution to creating a sustainable society.”

First fully circular economy

The Dutch government wants the Dutch economy to run completely on reusable raw materials by 2050. This will be a long and challenging process, but ABN AMRO is confident that the Netherlands will become the world’s first fully circular economy. An interim goal is a 50% reduction in the use of primary raw materials by 2030. It will be quite a challenge to maintain the volume of construction while reducing the use of primary construction materials by 30 million tonnes between now and 2030. All of the construction waste – from brick to grit – will have to serve as circular input. It is crucial that the government, business and consumers join forces to achieve this goal.

The construction and real estate industry is a raw materials and energy intensive sector. These two things make a difference in improving sustainability. Reusing or upcycling of waste, increasing biomass applications and circular construction all help to reduce carbon emissions and make less intensive use of scarce raw materials. In building Circl, ABN AMRO experienced first-hand what opportunities exist, the creativity and solutions that are already present and where the challenges lie.

For more information on the report, please contact:
ABN AMRO
Petran van Heel, Sector Banker Construction and Real Estate
petran.van.heel@nl.abnamro.com
Phone number: +31 (0)6-53805828

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