Het Nieuwe Normaal: A complete framework for circular construction

Presenting a universal language and a widely embraced standard for circular construction in the Netherlands

“Het Nieuwe Normaal” (HNN) presents both a universal language and a widely embraced standard for circular construction for all types of building projects. It contains ambitious yet attainable performance indicators for circular buildings, based on the evaluation of actual current building projects. The framework uses existing assessment methods and is closely aligned with the most recent developments in circular construction.

  • Partners: Cirkelstad, Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), Alba Concepts, Witteveen+Bos, Copper8, TU Delft
  • Launch Date: December 2023

Accelerating the transition of the construction sector to achieve circularity

The Dutch national government has an ambitious goal: to make the Netherlands fully circular by 2050. Accelerating the transition is essential to achieve this goal within the construction sector. An increasing number of stakeholders within the construction industry are already eager to apply circular building practices. Additionally, policy is putting increased pressure on these stakeholders to transition to circular construction. However, navigating through various definitions, frameworks, and assessment methods poses challenges. Achieving circular goals demands a unified language to facilitate understanding and agreements between clients and contractors concerning circular performance standards.


Rallying support for a complete circular construction framework

Cirkelstad and the Ministry of BZK are the initiators of the HNN program. In this multi-year initiative, major construction stakeholders collaboratively define their understanding of circular construction and how it can be successfully applied. The core team is made of Metabolic, along with Copper8, Alba Concepts, Witteveen+Bosch, and TU Delft. We collected data and experiences from past and current building projects through project evaluations to determine which circular performance levels are both attainable and ambitious. Both the framework and the performance levels will be generated and periodically updated by the core team.


Sign the HNN manifesto at the launch of HNN 1.0

After several concept versions of the HNN framework, we have now launched the 1.0 version. Three variations of the framework are available in order to apply HNN to all forms of construction projects, namely Buildings, Infrastructure, and Area Development. Metabolic has been responsible for the “Area Development” framework. Comprehensive materials, such as a starter kit and an academy, have been provided during the launch to support the uptake of HNN in the building sector. Project partners and other stakeholders have also signed the HNN manifesto.

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Project Manager, Built Environment


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