Project details



Modelling the role of circular economy construction value chains for a carbon-neutral Europe

Start date: 01.06.2022

Duration: 48 months

Coordinator: Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Budget: 4.38 M€


Circular Economy integration into climate action and policy is limiting the EU's advancement to achieve carbon neutrality as fast as possible. Widely applied TIMES energy-climate mitigation models detail the use of technology and technological advances in its GHG abatement pathways. Because CE practices are technical, CO2NSTRUCT deems TIMES the ideal proxy model to shift climate mitigation models from linear to circular. This project will delineate a “circular climate mitigation” framework to augment TIMES models at a first stage, but that can serve as an imprint for other climate mitigation models. The focus will be on six pervasive carbon-intensive construction materials – steel, cement, brick, glass, wood, and insulation – to map six value chains with explicit feedback loops and quantified rebound effects, key of CE practices. Social and environmental externalities will be accounted for, including GHG & air pollutants emissions, water usage, embodied energy, energy poverty, employment, and inequalities. Once these and other CE measures are identified in the key industries of the six materials, CE tools as LCA and MFAs can be coupled to the TIMES model. TIMES will run several CE scenarios to quantify the role of CE for EU+ climate mitigation in the near-term and future, always ensuring carbon. Outcomes will be translated into useful and effective policy support information for sustainable climate mitigation, minimising conflicts across SDGs (both in EU+ and rest of the world).

Although the framework is applied to the whole EU+ energy production and consumption system (disaggregated per country), CO2NSTRUCT will emphasize two economic case studies or clusters: (1) offshore renewable energy production and (2) buildings. CO2NSTRUCT anticipates that the framework can be used globally by climate mitigation modelers and policy makers. CE integration into climate action will drive EC’s goal to increase EU GDP by 0.5% by 2030.

List of achievements

To be completed.


Contact person: Ana Teresa Macas Lima, Project Coordinator
Address: Technical University of Denmark (DTU)