Open innovation competition fuels sustainable development in construction sector.

Denmark’s building industry is responsible for 30% of the country’s waste and uses more than 40% of domestic resources. The answer: A global open innovation competition to rethink construction waste.

Enemærke & Petersen, one of Denmark's largest construction firms, teamed up with Wazoku partner, Danish Crowdsourcing, to run an open innovation competition called the ‘Upcycle Challenge’ to crowdsource new ways to reduce waste. The solution, powered by Wazoku’s Idea Spotlight, enabled:

Read the full case study to see how a single open innovation competition fuelled innovation and sustainability in the construction sector.

Read case study

Of businesses
finding sustainable solutions in the construction sector.


New ideas
generated to rethink waste.


Finalists selected
to pitch their ideas to judging panel.


Winner awarded
DKK 51,646 (£6,000) to fund the idea ''Next Shed''

The Upcycle Challenge

The Upcycle Challenge was created on Wazoku's idea management platform to crowdsource new ways to reuse and recycle building materials and waste in the sector.

Open innovation invites the public to find solutions to bolder, wider problems and builds collaborative community engagement around complex issues and improving processes.

The aim of the challenge was to inspire the public to find sustainable ways for the construction industry to ‘upcycle’ waste materials with the challenge question: How do we bring new life to used building materials?

View all 52 idea submissions.


Open innovation for new ideas and collaboration in the construction sector

The challenge ran for six-weeks and promised prizes (approx. £6,000 total) for the top three ideas. This resulted in incredible engagement on the platform through idea submissions, comments, suggestions and voting resulting in a total of 52 ideas from around the world.

Using the platform’s functionality, all ideas were submitted and then went through an evaluation process. Enemærke & Petersen managed the first round of evaluation, followed by an external evaluation, to reduce the list down to the top five ideas.

These five finalists who were scattered around the globe then pitched their ideas (via video stream or presentation) to an expert panel for the final round of judging.


An innovative solution to reducing waste

The winning idea from Krydsrum Architects crafted their innovative solution, “Reskur” (Reshed). They proposed using the discarded materials like wing tiles, slate, bricks and gables to build new sheds for storage, bikes and garbage disposal. ”It is an idea, we can implement directly into our work,” says Lars Jess Hansen, Enemærke & Petersen. The runner up idea ‘’Grey to Red’’ presented a method to use finely crushed bricks as a cement replacement.

Enemærke & Petersen reentered the winning idea Reskur ‘’Next Shed’’ into a new competition: The Circular Construction Challenge to Rethink Waste sponsored by Realdania. Reskur again came out a winner and was awarded a further £120k prize.


One idea to save 40,000 tonnes of CO2 per year

This idea has been bought to life with the first shed made from uncycled materials ready at Holberg School in Copenhagen coined Denmark’s most beautiful waste shed. Implementing this idea across Denmark would save 40,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and truly accelerate innovation and sustainability in the industry.

The Upcycle Challenge built awareness and actionable outcomes for an industry responsible for significant societal waste. It resulted in bringing an industry together to globally crowdsource new ideas and applied real life solutions for waste reduction and sustainable development for the construction sector.

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