CFP is joining forces with de Volksbank to create circularity in offices and buildings. The objectives? Making circularity measurable, calculating the impact of measures and advising on circular improvement opportunities.
De Volksbank has been applying the principles of the circular economy to its business operations for a number of years. At early 2016, SNS Bank, part of de Volksbank, opened its first Dutch circular branch in Zoetermeer. The materials used in constructing and fitting out this branch are all suitable for recycling and – due to the flexibility of the layout – last longer than is normally the case. SNS Bank’s ambition is to build all newly opened branches in a circular manner.
To make circularity measurable, CFP Green Buildings has developed a method to easily measure the circularity of a building or design. The underlying principles are simple. The circular economy aims to avoid extracting new (non-renewable) raw materials and not to dispose of any raw materials. All raw materials must eventually remain in the cycle so that it the circle is closed and no more raw materials are consumed. The circular method that CFP uses measures precisely that: the amount of raw materials that you consume.
The design of the circular branch was conceived by the permanent partners from the construction team responsible for creating the SNS branches. Together with the partners, we looked for better circular alternatives for the materials and the design. The starting point was that it must be easy to place the entire layout of the branch in another branch. In addition, a circular and sustainable option has been considered for each new material. The starting point was restricting new virgin materials. The possibilities were also examined for reproduction and reuse as soon as a material is no longer needed in the future.
The advantage of the bank branches is that new ones are being opened and closed all the time. This means that there is a continuous process of rebuilding and building. The learning curve of each new circularly created branch can be applied to the next one. In this way, it is possible to get one step closer each time towards a 100% circular branch. In addition, it is possible to experiment with new products, which if they are satisfactory, can be applied in all branches.