White Paper CBCI: Rules & Regulations

Rules & Regulations

Publication White Paper
Circular Bio-based Construction Industry (CBCI)
May 2022

“How the legislative framework can stimulate circular, bio-based construction”

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Er is ook een Nederlandse uitgave.

The white paper ‘How the legislative framework can stimulate circular, bio-based construction’ has been published in the context of the Interreg 2seas project Circular Bio-based Construction Industry (CBCI). This publication was made because producers, contractors, building owners and developers often consider laws and regulations as hindering the wider application of circular bio-based construction. The question is: is this correct?

In this white paper we discuss: How obstructive is legislation and regulations? How big is the scope for stimulating circular bio-based construction? Which laws and regulations are important for upscaling? How flexible are laws and regulations in the context of function change?


Together with two other CBCI white papers ‘Five building blocks for successful circular Bio-based building initiatives’ and ‘Circular and bio-based ambitions in construction projects; an integrated approach to the tendering process’, a wide range and experiences are offered. By linking this to practice, application in the Living Labs of KU Leuven and Emergis, it becomes concrete, applicable, and recognizable. Recommendations are included in the publications.

All findings of the total Interreg2Seas CBCI project will be presented in the Final Event on 15 June in Ghent.

Laws and regulations are not out of the blue.

It is the result of social, political, and corporate interests. In the context of the upscaling, two important aspects can be distinguished in the 2 Seas region:

  1. The difference in approach between countries, because of culture and political background. What can we learn from the different approaches to ultimately achieve an improvement?
  2. There is opportunity in legislation and regulations. There is always some flexibility in the implementation when it comes to interpretation. This space and flexibility may enhance or constrain freedom in development. Both sides have been studied.

A selection of the findings

  • Laws and regulations do not hinder circular bio-based construction. Forerunners within the sector operate within the (legal) margins.
  • No differences in the recognition of the problem have been observed between the four countries in the two seas area. The solution per country is different and depends on the administrative culture. ‘Solutions’ vary between central(er) political management ‘versus’ a greater role for the market parties.
  • The promotion and certification of bio-based products presents major challenges. There are parallels with the introduction of innovative products. Introduction of ‘Bio-based’ products encounters the same problems as any other product.
  • Government control is increasingly being based upon the LCA databases, especially in France and the Netherlands.
  • Legislation and regulations in the field of spatial planning and ’tracking & tracing’ of material flows are becoming more important to better balance the relationship between the production of raw materials and the use of these raw materials.
  • Eliminating differences in laws and regulations between countries is crucial for creating smoothly running supply and purchase flows.


The report ends with a reflection on ‘legislative and regulatory findings’, which provides a basis for further research and project- and policy development. Attention has been paid to three themes:

  • Monitoring the impact of laws and regulations (regulating, stimulating).
  • The need for further coordination between the (European) regions (spatial planning and material flows).
  • Space for organizing the (legal) process in case of adjustments related to function change and flexibility.

It’s free to download after subscribing. Happy reading!

Contact and how to share the White Paper!

We wish you a lot of pleasure and inspiration when reading the white paper. We are very curious at your response. If you intend to actually apply the recommendations from the white paper in a new construction or renovation project, please let us know.

You can contact us for comments and questions by info.cbci@avans.nl. We would like to hear from you!

Would you like to share this whitepaper in your network? Please use the following link:  https://mailchi.mp/38d20a5a6fc3/rea4ky2x9r