Reuse of building materials in the Nordics must be increased

27.03.23 | News
 Exterior Valle Wood


Exterior of Valle Wood in Oslo.

Anders Vestergaard Jensen

The facade of Valle Wood in Oslo.

Practical skills relating to the reuse of building materials must be increased among students on Nordic vocational courses.

The Nordic construction industry as a whole is demanding new skills to support the green transition. At the same time, the growing lack of resources has led to a greater focus on the reuse of building materials. In light of this, the Nordic Sustainable Construction programme is launching a project aimed at students on Nordic vocational programmes. Teaching material must be developed that strengthens students’ skills in reusing building materials.

“There’s great potential for improvements in the construction industry,” says Helle Redder Momsen, Head of the Secretariat of Nordic Sustainable Construction, who adds: “We want to accelerate these improvements by way of skills development among the students, who will bring new knowledge to their workplaces and thereby help to promote the reuse of building materials in the Nordics.”


Scarcity of resources and circularity in the construction industry are challenges in all the Nordic countries right now

Karen Ellemann, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers

Transformation in the Nordic construction industry

The project forms part of pan-Nordic efforts to become the most sustainable region in the world by 2030. This means that the Nordic Region must become a leading region in sustainable and competitive construction. In order to succeed with the green transition and the circularity of the Nordic construction industry, it’s crucial that we work together right across the region.

Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Karen Ellemann, sees the project as a good example of how Nordic co-operation can help to overcome shared challenges. 

“Scarcity of resources and circularity in the construction industry are challenges in all the Nordic countries right now. Thanks to Nordic co-operation and projects that address these challenges, we can learn from each other’s approaches and experiences and thereby create value for the Nordic construction industry and beyond.” 


The purpose of the Nordic Sustainable Construction programme is to establish the Nordic Region as a leader in sustainable and competitive construction, and to facilitate the green transition in the Nordic construction industry. The programme is pursuing the Nordic harmonisation of life cycle assessments (LCA), circular business models and tenders, sustainable building materials and architecture, emission-free construction sites, the increased reuse of building materials, and knowledge sharing.

Once the teaching material has been produced, it will be available on Nordic Sustainable Construction’s website. 

The project on the development of teaching materials is being pursued by a consortium consisting of the consultancy firm Norion Consult and the Knowledge Centre for Craftsmanship and Sustainability.