Going full circle: Is circular construction the future for Tauranga?

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Tauranga’s rapid growth brings both promise and challenges. With a 72% population increase since 2000 and significant investments in construction, our city is on the cusp of a new era – The CBD Blueprint alone highlighting $1.5 billion dollars of investment by 2030.

However, the construction and demolition industry, while economically lucrative, also contributes to a significant environmental challenge – up to 50% of New Zealand’s waste.

In response to this environmental challenge, Priority One, aligned with its sustainability strategy, has actively collaborated with 25 local construction businesses. Through a series of four Construction Sector Workshops, utilising the process of design thinking, the aim was to gain insights into their waste management and diversion challenges.

The result of these efforts unfolded in last week’s final Construction Sector Workshop for 2023, in which the development of our circular construction project took shape.

Circular construction, at its core, entails a regenerative approach to building. It emphasises reducing, reusing, and recycling materials, thus breaking away from the traditional linear model of ‘take, make, dispose.’

Unanimously, these businesses acknowledged the urgent need to address waste in construction, expressing a collective commitment to reducing the sector’s environmental impact. Marissa Nikora, Priority One’s Sustainability Lead and the driving force behind the initiative, emphasised the need for collective leadership to support circular construction.

“Our goal is to explore, with the intent to establish, an industry-led group that creates a sustainable system reducing waste, fostering resource efficiency, and minimising environmental impact in the Western Bay of Plenty.”

The circular construction project is positioned to drive positive change for the region, emphasising a collaborative approach to developing an action plan that promotes waste reduction and circularity within the construction sector.

For those interested in contributing or seeking more information, connect with our Sustainability Lead, Marissa Nikora, at marissa@priorityone.co.nz.