Nordic reference group for sustainable construction

Nordic authorities gathered to discuss climate ambitions and circular economy in Nordic construction

Publiceret 13-02-2023

What better place to discuss the visions of the future for Nordic sustainable construction than a 16th century building that has lasted lifetimes through transformation of its function into the needs of its owners? This first reference group meeting of the year gathered representatives from Nordic authorities and organisations, and it was kindly hosted by Form/Design Center in beautiful surroundings in Malmö.

Reference group participants

The Nordic authorities were gathered to review the most recent achievements of the Nordic Sustainable Construction programme, but also to discuss possibilities and obstacles in our regulation work while, at the same time, getting new inspiration.

All work package leaders presented the progress of their work packages.

Recent, key programme accomplishments

  • The work package on Nordic LCA Harmonisation has published two tenders: one on the potential of digital tools and Building Information Models in building LCA and another tender on GHG limit values and reporting of the decarbonisation of the Nordic building stock
  • The work package on Circular Economy and Procurement has published the Circular Economy Playbook 2.0 and is working with three cities as pilot projects for circular procurement. As an example, the city of Tampara is working with plot bidding competitions to encourage circular procurement.
  • The work package on Sustainable building materials and architecture, SUSTAINORDIC, is processing the large amounts of outcome and learnings gathered through their democracy festival tour in 2022 and will soon be submitting debate articles discussing these.
    They are, furthermore, in the process of planning the representation of the Nordic Architecture Associations at UIA23 in the first week of July in Copenhagen, which SUSTAINORDIC will facilitate
  • The work package on emission-free construction sites has prepared a report on definitions, boundaries and terminology, which will be launched at an online event 16th of March.
    They have also established a network, which focusses on the construction site, for sharing the experiences and lessons learned and facilitating dialogues with suppliers to discover possibilities
  • The work package that contains the programme secretariat has just launched a new project to strengthen students’ hands-on competences within reuse of construction materials at vocational educations across the Nordics.

The road towards vision 2030

Besides providing insights of the current status of all work packages; the key discussions of this reference meeting evolved around how Nordic collaboration within construction can help reach vision 2030, and how the programme can support this work.

To help spark this discussion, we had invited a strong panel of inspirational speakers to give their view on the key challenges and solutions for sustainable construction in 2025-2030:

  • Key challenges and solutions for sustainable construction in 2025-2030
    Per Heiselberg, Climate Council, Vice Director at the Danish Building Reseach Institut, BUILD
  • Urban Design and LCA
    Åse Togerö, Sustainability Expert, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute
  • How will biodiversity impact the way we construct?
    Rasmus Vincentz, CEO Habitats
  • How can digitalisation in 2025-2030 contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions?
    Trine Dyrstad Pettersen, Technical manager, Byggevareindustrien
  • Site visit to Varvsstaden, Malmø – former shipyard transformed in to new urban area
    Erik Wennderholm, Varvsstaden AB
The Nordic Sustainable Construction Reference Group Meetings

About the Nordic Sustainable Construction Reference Group Meetings:

The reference group for the Nordic Sustainable Construction programme meets four times a year. These quarterly reference group meetings are an important tool in our programme's work towards harmonisation and the green transition of the Nordic construction industry.

Government representatives from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Faeroe Islands, Greenland and Åland are represented in the reference group to ensure that the progress, knowledge and findings gathered in the programme are anchored in all the Nordic countries.