Customer Stories

Danish Crowdsourcing

Rethinking waste in Denmark’s building industry

Denmark’s building industry is responsible for 30% of the country’s waste and the industry uses more than 40% of domestic resources. So, how can a solution be found? The answer lies in running an open innovation competition to rethink waste management and fuel sustainable development.

100s

of businesses globally thinking about sustainable solutions in construction sector

52

new ideas generated to rethink waste

5

finalists selected to pitch their ideas to a judging panel

1

prize winner awarded DKK 51,646 (£6,000) to help fund the idea and bring it to life

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?

We’re trying to change the mindset of the construction sector to think more sustainably. At Enemærke & Petersen we focus on creating immediate results – the Wazoku platform helped us generate new ideas quickly from a large network and we will use these results to fuel the necessary large scale sustainable change.
// Lars Jess Hansen COO, Enemærke & Petersen

The background: setting the Challenge

Enemærke & Petersen, one of Denmark’s largest construction firms, teamed up with Wazoku partner, Danish Crowdsourcing, to run an open innovation competition to reduce construction waste. A competition called the Upcycle Challenge was created on our 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 question: How do we bring new life to used building materials?

The solution: harnessing innovation from around the world

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, ideas were submitted and then went through an evaluation process. Enemærke & Petersen managed the first round of this, 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.

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 re-entered 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.

Outcomes

This idea has been bought to life with the first shed made from upcycled materials 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 think about the impact businesses are having on the planet and inspired the implementation of new sustainable solutions.

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