Placing the spotlight on people, not just data.
Barbour ABI are creating a monthly series documenting the best the construction industry has to offer. Not organisations, not data-led research, but the people, those people that are championing a cause or producing excellent work in a particular field of expertise.
Our Focus This Month: Recyclable Materials and Waste Management
The construction industry is the biggest consumer of natural resources and equally, it is a high contributor to waste landfill, an effect on the world that is now becoming critical to tackle. The understanding is that the construction industry needs to evolve its practice when using natural resources by reducing and promoting recycling and reusability. The key to this is material efficiency and promoting greater sustainability of materials.
This month Barbour ABI is voicing their appreciation to those amazing people who are doing all they can to get people thinking green, sustainability and recycling within the construction industry, giving kudos to those guiding their organisations on a pathway towards a circular economy by reducing waste landfill and using recyclable materials to drive a clean and safer environment.
Nigel Van Wassenhoven and Reiss Salustro-Pilson,
Founders @ Enviromate
Enviromate was Designed with one core goal; to encourage and promote sustainable construction through the re-use of surplus building materials at all levels within the industry.
Bio and Background:
Nigel Van Wassenhoven and Reiss Salustro-Pilson created Enviromate in 2014 to enact change within the construction industry by developing an online marketplace for construction companies to trade their waste – anything from sand to tiles.
The platform connects consumers to resources they wish to sell through a secondary marketplace, harnessing digital technology and economic principles that propel circular economy growth. Instead of wasting under-utilised materials, the platform ensures reusable materials are just that, reused.
Their start-up meant that they were both nominated for the Observer Ethical Awards in 2015.
Enviromate has revolutionised the construction industry through the acceleration of reusing surplus and leftover building materials, with a vision to build a better future to reduce the impact on the environment and support needed for progressing towards a circular economy.
The construction industry is responsible for nearly 32% of landfill waste, and Enviromate seeks to make the world a better place by making ethical choices and using sustainable materials to support a sustainable planet. A self-funded platform that has earned Pioneer of The Year and a Great British Entrepreneur Award
Enviromate has kept 50,000 tonnes of material out of the waste stream, totalling up to around £2 million.
Head of Environmental Sustainability @ Bell Group UK
Allan has been working to embed sustainable practices across a variety of sectors but specifically energy, sustainability, built environment and the construction sector, delivering unique insight into the barriers for sustainable thinking and economic opportunity.
Bio and Background:
Allan Sandilands has 17 years’ worth of experience in the construction industry, with a passion to drive transformation of the circular economy, seeking to make an impact on the net-zero challenge and sustainability.
Allen specialises in the built environment and construction sector and has held many roles in the public, private and not for profit sectors. He is now the head of environmental sustainability at one of the largest maintenance construction companies, seeking to lead in the delivery of an environmental sustainability strategy.
Allen was a project head for the innovative Resource Efficient House for Zero Waste Scotland, a funded program that drives efficient use of resources and encourages the construction of sustainable and affordable family houses across Scotland. The projects key objectives were to show construction waste volumes can be reduced through offsite production, meaning structural insulation panels, highly insulated buildings to reduce home energy costs and contribute to net-zero carbon emissions.
Investment granted by the Scottish Government of up to £30-40 million to complete the required years of remediation work.
Managing Director @ R Collard Group Limited
Awarded Independent Operator of the Year for providing waste management and recycling services for over 26 years.
Bio and Background:
Robert Collard founded R Collard Ltd in 1994. The company has developed into a multidiscipline business offering services such as demolition, remediation and waste management solutions for property developers and contractors. The company offers a range of services from site investigation, consultancy, design and methodology to complete side remediation. The company specializes in waste management solutions and disposing of materials through its self-development waste transfer station.
R Collard Ltd achieved double success at the 2021 National Recycling Awards, winning the Best Recycling Facility and Independent Operator awards for investing significantly into innovative technologies in the waste sector, with a clear plan to grow, be dynamic and make a difference. The award judges praised the company as a standout winner within the Recycling Facility category in 2020.
Annual turn at an estimated £18 million.
25 years of trading with year-on-year growth with group turnover of almost £50 million.
PhD Researcher - Applying Circular Economy in Buildings and Principal Consultant @ Loughborough University / BRE
Katherine was instrumental in promoting construction resource efficiency during her career.
Bio and Background:
Katherine Adams boasts over 20 years of experience within the construction sector, with a passion to drive resource efficiency and promote circular economy thinking in buildings. As part of her experience, she’s recently partnered with LWARD as part of the Climate KIC funded Buildings Pathfinders Project, and the Plastics in Construction Group.
Katherine has worked at BRE Group since 2001, tasked to promote resource efficiency for public and private clients, nationally and internationally in the form of consultancy and research. She was also responsible for the development of SmartWaste, a software platform that collects and analyses environmental data on construction sites.
As part of her experience, she has been a key figure in promoting resource efficiency in the construction sector in the UK and developing influential partnerships, networks and collaborations across the supply chain.
Katherine’s work in the circular economy promoted the drive of ensuring material resources retain their inherent value, replacing the traditional ‘take, make and dispose of’ linear model. Co-authoring Material Resource Efficiency In Construction in 2017, that provided a framework for material resource efficiency, adopting the approach of using fewer materials and optimizing more out of its use to reduce the amount of waste through a reuse and recycling mindset.
Phil Sutton FRSA,
Founder @ Econpro
DuraKerb is the proven lightweight, environmentally beneficial and cost-effective alternative to the traditional concrete kerb, reducing levels of waste disposal and promoting better output of cement and carbon emissions.
Bio and Background:
Phil Sutton has over 20 years of experience as an Executive Director and is also a Chartered Scientist and Environmental Professional who has a history of roles within the Recycling and Circular Economy sector. His environmental background has seen him become a founder of many companies that promote resource efficiency within the circular economy to support the Net Zero by 2050 target.
Polytag – The development of RecTech, and recycling technology designed to deliver sustainable solutions and contribute to solving the climate emergency. Isolates plastics and other valuable resources to create a traceable lifecycle of products that promotes a safer environment.
Econpro – Promoting sustainability in construction by transforming waste into sustainable materials that can be reused.
DuraKerb – Manufacturing lightweight recycled products to provide greener and safer solutions for road kerbs. DuraKerb was awarded the Institution of Highways & Transportation Health & Safety at Work Award back in 2008.
Research shows that construction and demolition waste can save up to eight times as much energy and prevent carbon emissions by up to ten times. Transforming construction waste into sustainable products, such as road kerbs (developed from recycled plastic) provides the construction industry with environmentally friendly alternatives compared to traditional concrete.
Econpro has sold over 400,000 sustainable products to industrial sectors worldwide
90% of construction and demolition waste is collected in the UK
Installation of its 400,000th CO2 saving kerb in the UK
Kieran, Dermot and Lewis Walch,
Founders @ Kedel Trade
The three borthers have manufactured and supplied Synthetic Wood and Mixed Plastic Lumber for Building and Construction since 2010 and supplied recycled plastic decking to Sir John McAlpines to construct the Orbital Tower at the London 2012 Olympics.
Bio and Background:
Kedel Trade was formed by three brothers (Kieran, Dermot and Lewis), each with individual skills that culminated into founding a company designed to cater for the building and construction trade. The vision of Kedel Trade is to promote green thinking and living by manufacturing products from recycled and recyclable materials to reduce carbon footprint and reduce any environmental impact.
The company sources British waste plastic and maintains recycling practices as part of its sustainable manufacturing policy. Its policy involves continuing to maintain efficient use of energy sources and promote recycling within the company and amongst its customers and partners.
Kedel manufacture recycled plastic planks and beams from British waste plastic to replace plastic and synthetic wood for construction buildings. Its supply of materials promotes a greater lifespan for construction projects and savings of 80% without maintenance and replacement costs.
Architects, specifiers and buyers are currently generating a high demand for Kedel’s recycled plastic products.
Company gross turnover has grown by 30% per year since 2010
All products are made of 100% British recycled plastic
Managing Director @ Hempcrete
Co-authored “The Hempcrete Book; Designing and building with Hemp-lime”, specialized in building with hempcrete since 2008 and consulted and trained other builders and architects to promote a push for the use of zero-carbon building material.
Bio and Background:
Alex Sparrow has a decade of experience within the design and construction space and is the founder of UK Hempcrete Ltd which specializes in the design and construction of structural and thermal envelopes of buildings from renewable, carbon and recycled materials. The company also assists members of staff in using natural materials within construction. Alex holds two separate high-level positions within sustainability, environment and construction:
A board member for the Alliance of Sustainable Building Products (ASBP), a company that champions the creation of construction products and materials to support the environment, Alex has been a spearhead in manifesting construction projects that follows their internal “6 pillars” model of sustainable construction.
A board member for the YorSpace CLT (York) that focuses on building high-performing buildings that are highly insulated and designed with solar panels by using natural and low carbon building materials.
Alex is also an author of “The Hempcrete Book – Designing and Building with Hemp-Line” which produces a guide to using better-than-zero carbon construction material to support the Net Zero target by 2050.
A globally recognized expert on hempcrete construction (a building material made from lime and hemp shivs that can be used for walls, floors and roof insulation within regulated buildings).
Alex has sought to develop a wide network of like-minded companies to assist with delivering future projects aimed at speeding the decarbonization of the construction industry. Alex’s practical knowledge has seen him delivering a comprehensive guide of different construction techniques.
Dr Katharina Schlegel,
Council Director Circularity and End-of-Life @ Plastics Europe
A leader of Global Market Development of Biodegradable Plastics at BASF, a company that combines economic success with social responsibility and environmental protection.
Bio and Background:
Katharina Schlegel began her career as a biodegradation researcher of plastics and an expert in microbial processes. Her profession currently lies within the circular economy, and she boasts a broad education with a doctoral degree in microbiology. Previously the Global Market Development of Biodegradable Plastics at BASF, with an objective of driving a circular economy, reusing limited resources for as long as possible to minimize waste and create value to reuse them again. Working with BASF, Katharina supported the implementation of circular solutions for materials the company sources, optimizing operations and offering resource-efficient products for consumers.
Katherine has recently taken the role of Council Director Circularity and End-of-Life at Plastics Europe.
Working closely with stakeholders to develop sustainable construction projects to promote durability, energy efficiency and strong maintenance through the use of fewer resources.