Drastic Project launch event

On Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 October 2023, the Drastic project partners gathered at VITO / Energyville, the co-ordinator of Drastic, in Genk, Belgium, to formally kick off the Drastic project.

Drastic is a pioneering initiative which aims to demonstrate affordability, sustainability and circularity within the built environment, via a collection of innovative European pilot projects known as 'Demonstrators’. The project has received funding for four years from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme.

Working with 23 partners across eight European countries, Drastic will consider the entire construction value chain with a key collective aim of reducing whole life carbon and the climate impact of construction. This pioneering project aims to achieve a whole life cycle decarbonisation of Europe’s building stock by 2050.

Hosted by VITO, Drastic’s Project Coordinator, the launch conference offered an opportunity for the Drastic network to develop and reinforce inter-organisational relationships and to discuss and workshop ideas surrounding the themes of circularity and sustainability, in line with the New European Bauhaus initiative.

Attendees were also able to learn more about the individual Drastic Demonstrators, which each span distinct European geographic zones and focus on reducing the embodied impacts of significant raw construction materials that currently account for 72% of Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

Véronique Vasseur PhD, a post-doctoral research fellow at the International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS) at Maastricht University, works closely with the Drastic project and attended the launch. Véronique said,

“Working at the Maastricht Sustainability Institute, we will be responsible for Drastic’s ecosystem creation and exploitation. As part of this work, we will look at sustainable business models and the social acceptability of construction materials being used within the project’s Demonstrators.

“For us, this is a really exciting project, as this is the first time that we have combined sustainable business models with social acceptability within the construction sector. At ICIS, we have a lot of case studies already, but this is the first time that we will be applying case studies to the construction sector.”

There was a buzz of energy and excitement at the launch event, as the attendees prepared to collectively develop and action a sustainable and circular vision for the European built environment via the Drastic project initiatives in the coming months and years.