City of Amsterdam: Circular building tendering for sustainable innovation

Developing a roadmap for circular building tenders in the City of Amsterdam.

Metabolic and SGS Search have developed circular tendering procedures that are helping municipalities, developers and construction companies to embed sustainable innovation.

  • Client: City of Amsterdam
  • Partners: SGS Search
  • Date: December 2017
The challenge

Globally, the built environment is responsible for an estimated 60% of material use. In the Netherlands, buildings are responsible for 40% of everyday energy use and 25% of CO2 emissions. Construction and demolition activities in the Netherlands additionally account for 24 million tonnes of waste production, which is almost equivalent to industrial and consumer waste combined. And although 94% of this waste is currently recycled, this mostly occurs in downgraded form (such as debris for road construction).

The challenge
Our approach

Metabolic designed, together with SGS Search, a roadmap for circular building tenders for the city of Amsterdam. As part of this roadmap, an indicator framework was designed to evaluate the circular performance of a building project, based on an integral approach to what a circular built environment would comply with. The effective integration of these circular criteria in current tender trajectories is secured by a specifications process that takes area and plot specific characteristics and ambitions, the form of the tender procedure and systemic sustainability effects into account.

Our approach
The outcome

The City of Amsterdam is applying our method to three sites, and we’re working with Dutch Housing  Corporation,  Area,  to  develop  six  circular housing projects in Uden and Veghel. In addition, we are working with knowledge and networking organisation Platform31, providing masterclasses on circular tendering to project developers, housing corporations and municipalities.

The outcome

“Amsterdam will be the first city in the Netherlands to explicitly take circularity into account in its tendering process. We are really excited to be working with them on bringing the circular economy further into practice.”

Lead Urban Planning & Development 


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