GENTRÆ: Circular Alternative - Introducing reused building materials in large-scale retail sale

Why?

1/3 of all waste generated in Europe derives from the building industry.

This project can remove up to 50,000 tons of timber from the current waste stream.

Timber originate from forests, which as well as being home to 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity (WWF), also play a vital role in regulating the climate and are critical to addressing the impact of climate change.

Although wood is a sustainable building material when forests are managed sustainably, the growing global demand for resources will put increasing pressure on the resource efficiency of our forest use and timber consumption.

Today, several legal and practical barriers exist which limits the reuse of building materials.

The process of introducing GENTRÆ, through this unique partnership across the supply chain, will help to remove these legal and practical barriers, thus paving the way for the reuse of building materials in large-scale, thereby supporting a circular change in the building industry.

STARK delivers new building materials in between 750-1,000 lorries daily.

Many of these lorries are empty, when returning to STARK. GENTRÆ aims to utilize these empty return transports to collect used timber at construction sites and bringing it to the service provider, hereby reducing the carbon footprint from transportation.

Vision

Our vision is to introduce reused building materials in large-scale retail sale. We believe that by making reused products available alongside conventional building materials, they will become an attractive and natural choice for constructors and craftsmen, thereby contributing to a paradigm shift towards increased circularity in the building sector.

The reused building materials will be introduced in large-scale retail sale by launching GENTRÆ, an assortment consisting of reused building materials, which can be sold across building material suppliers, initially across Denmark, later in the Nordics and finally globally. The first building material in the GENTRÆ assortment is temporary construction timber (i.e. guardrails, toe boards, stairs, framework panels, plywood hoarding etc.).

The timber from temporary constructions is particularly optimal for reuse due to large volumes, fast turnover, absence of hazardous substances and limited requirements for the material. However, today in Denmark, approximately 50,000 tons of temporary timber is, after less than 6 months of use, disposed of as combustible waste, mainly due to logistic challenges and a lacking market. We wish to disrupt the current linear process by developing a concept with a strong setup, simple strategy and a cost-effective focus, that will bring the timber into a circular loop.

By branding and introducing this first reused building material in large-scale retail sale, we will gain more documented knowledge of the cost, quantity, quality, logistics, market and legislation of a reused product, thereby paving the way for other reused building materials.

With time, our aim is to increase the GENTRÆ assortment with other building materials of wood, as well as the reused building materials assortment with products such as GENPLAST (plastics) and GENGIPS (gypsum).

Short description

The activities in this project are divided into two processes:

A) The main process represents the circular value chain operations, which will during this project be evaluated and optimized in order to thereafter function as a solution for the reuse of temporary timber.

B) The support processes, which support the evaluation and optimization of the value chain operations during the project.

A) The main process

1. Contractors/building sites
Timber from temporary construction at building sites will be sorted and stored separately, according to GENTRÆ sorting instructions, after which it will be transported to the service provider.

2. and 5. Logistics, transport
STARK material delivery lorries will pick up the sorted temporary timber on their return routes and transport it to the service provider and from the service provider to the building merchant. In this way empty return journeys will be utilized, providing a cost and environmentally efficient solution. (For routes where no return journeys are available, services from external transport companies may be used.)

3. and 4. Service provider
The timber is transported to the service provider, where it will be weighed, processed (sorted, sawed, quality checked), labelled and packed according to GENTRÆ requirements. Timber, that is not reusable, will be shredded and recycled as raw material for particle boards. All statistical data will be made available pr. delivery, showing percentage reused as GENTRÆ and the residual waste percentage recycled.

6. Retailer/Distributor
The readily packed timber will be marketed and sold to contractors alongside the conventional timber products as a reused product GENTRÆ.

The constructors will purchase the reused material from building material suppliers and use it in the temporary constructions at building sites.

B) The support processes

Project advisor
The project advisor will facilitate the project providing strategic, operational and technical advice, documenting the process and providing training to the whole value chain.

Legal advice
The whole process will be closely monitored by a legal specialist with the purpose of identifying and addressing any upcoming legal issues associated with the traceability, processing, certification, sales etc. of reused materials.

Digital solution for ordering collection from construction sites (a)
A digital solution will be created for ordering collection of the sorted and packed timber. This solution will send a message directly to STARKs logistical department with information about the collection (type, amount, location, timeframe, contact details). Furthermore, this app will include a sorting manual and any other relevant information.

Social Enterprise collaboration
A collaboration between the service provider and the local municipality will help bring socially vulnerable people back into employment. The aim is to help break down barriers, giving socially vulnerable people a purpose filled way to earn money, acquire new competences and support this both environmentally and socially sustainable solution.

Green Building Council Denmark – Advice regarding Danish sustainable building requirements
Green Building Council Denmark will assist with requirements regarding traceability of products and sorting of timber after use, related to points given in the DGNB certification scheme under ENV1.3 and PRO2.1.

Winning the circular construction challenge will give us the possibility, through the six-month-long charged innovation process, to make a thorough analysis of the circular value chain and this way to create an optimal solution, both from a social, environmental and economical perspective, for introducing GENTRÆ, and eventually other reused building materials, in large scale retail sale.

Why?

1/3 of all waste generated in Europe derives from the building industry.

This project can remove up to 50,000 tons of timber from the current waste stream.

Timber originate from forests, which as well as being home to 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity (WWF), also play a vital role in regulating the climate and are critical to addressing the impact of climate change.

Although wood is a sustainable building material when forests are managed sustainably, the growing global demand for resources will put increasing pressure on the resource efficiency of our forest use and timber consumption.

Today, several legal and practical barriers exist which limits the reuse of building materials.

The process of introducing GENTRÆ, through this unique partnership across the supply chain, will help to remove these legal and practical barriers, thus paving the way for the reuse of building materials in large-scale, thereby supporting a circular change in the building industry.

STARK delivers new building materials in between 750-1,000 lorries daily.

Many of these lorries are empty, when returning to STARK. GENTRÆ aims to utilize these empty return transports to collect used timber at construction sites and bringing it to the service provider, hereby reducing the carbon footprint from transportation.

Who are behind?

project owners

Golder

How do we contribute?
Golder Associates is a consultant company specializing in environmental consulting. Golder will closely monitor, evaluate and document the project process and findings by contributing with strong technical and operational competences in
understanding the complete value chain process.

STARK

How do we contribute?
STARK Group is the largest retailer and distributor of building materials in the Nordic region. STARK will provide logistics solutions between the construction sites and service provider and will market products in the GENTRÆ assortment.

Solum

How do we contribute?
Solum A/S is a waste management company treating 70.000 tons of waste wood material annually. Solum will be the service provider, providing material sorting, checking, processing, labeling and packaging, activating social employees.

strategic partners - contractors

NCC

How do we contribute?
NCC will supply material input from 2-5 building sites, deliver important knowhow on sorting, quality and business model and has purchase rights within the project to purchase GENTRÆ for reuse.

J. Jensen

How do we contribute?
J. Jensen will supply material input from 2-5 building sites, deliver important knowhow on sorting, quality and business model and has purchase rights within the project to purchase GENTRÆ for reuse.

Enemærke og Petersen a/s

How do we contribute?
Enemærke & Petersen will supply material input from 2-5 building sites, deliver important knowhow on sorting, quality and business model and has purchase rights within the project to purchase GENTRÆ for reuse.

C. G. Jensen

How do we contribute?
C. G. Jensen will supply material input from 2-5 building sites, deliver important knowhow on sorting, quality and business model and has purchase rights within the project to purchase GENTRÆ for reuse.

Adserballe & Knudsen

How do we contribute?
Adserballe og Knudsen will supply material input from 2-5 building sites, deliver important knowhow on sorting, quality and business model and has purchase rights within the project to purchase GENTRÆ for reuse.

strategic partner - legal advice

Horten

How do we contribute?
As environmental Lawyer Henriette will contribute with consultancy regarding the regulatory regime covering e.g. building, construction, waste, procurement and CE labelling law.

strategic partner - digital solution

WasteApp

How do we contribute?
WasteApp will contribute with a digital solution for ordering collection of the sorted and packed timber from the construction site.

Want to get in touch?

If you are interested to hear more about the project, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Maria Ekblad
Project Manager, Golder Associates

maria_ekblad@golder.com
+45 3094 3183

Morten Strandlod
Head of Resources, Solum

mst@solum.com
+45 2722 2931

Louise Askær-Hune
Environmental Business Partner,
STARK GROUP

la@starkgroup.dk
+45 6020 0247