RECONS - Reducing Construction Environmental Impact

LIFE03 ENV/E/000150

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Contact details:

Project Manager: José Vergé Gonzalez
Tel: 93 34 2659430
Fax: 93 34 2657335
Email: j.verge@gremi-obres.org

Project description:


A range of environmental problems are associated with the building sector has environmental problems. The amount of waste generate at building sites has increased in recent years as well as emissions of pollutants such as CO2. Problems also relate to the generation of waste stone material and other waste material that could be recycled. In Catalonia, there is a high density of building activities, and as a result, environmental problems in the region are particularly acute.


The RECONS project was set up to promote the Community Environmental Audit Management System (EMAS) in small- and medium-sized firms and micro-firms in the construction industry. The project designed an innovative co-operative approach to an Environmental Management System. The aim was to gain validation by the Builder Professional Union of Catalonia and spread the results to other firms. The specific objectives were to: • Facilitate the implementation of environmental policies in small-, medium-sized and micro firms. • Raise the awareness of and engage employers and employees in an efficient and effective way by creating an organisational structure and using existing channels between the small and medium-sized firms and the micro-firms as well as the guild. • Ensure that the environmental intervention in the defined geographical territory connects all the stakeholders and optimises the work relations between them.


The project to promote EMAS fulfilled the requirement of the regulation (EU) 761/2001 EMAS The EMAS system in Catalonia (the EMS Cooperative) introduced environmental considerations into decision-making mechanisms and facilitated the environmental management in the construction sector. It also guaranteed the commitment to comply with the current legislation, incorporating the needs of the interested parties. The system also allows the redistribution of work responsibilities, significantly decreasing the cost linked to the application of the system for companies. The beneficiary, Gremio, is responsible for the organisational and structural tasks of the EMS Cooperative, sharing functions with companies. Another advantage of the system is that it can be introduced on a large scale. The EMS Cooperative has been conceived as a simple but complete model. For this reason it has been designed to be technically viable and to be applied by the greatest number and type of building projects. It defines the role of the Gremio guild and the building companies. The tasks of the agents are also clearly defined. Finally, the system defines where and how the environmental evaluation is carried out. Possible environmental impacts are evaluated through the environmental matrix thus applying the preventive approach in the building sector. It does not involve a significant financial cost for the building companies. In the short term the redistribution of work responsibilities between the Gremio and the building companies reduces the financial cost of the introduction and management of the system. In the medium and long term, the costs are reduced thanks to the training programs and the integration of IT.


Environmental issues addressed:


Environmental management - Certification
Industry-Production - Building


EC regulation on eco-management and audit‚  building industry

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The beneficiary, Gremi De Constructors D'obres De Catalunya, is a non-profit-making guild for builders working for SMEs.
Partners Departament de Medi Ambient-Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalonia Environmental Department), Spain Departament de Política Territorial i Obres Públiques de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Spain Institut de Tecnologia de la Construcció de Catalunya, Spain Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain


Project reference LIFE03 ENV/E/000150
Duration 01-NOV-2003 to 01-MAY -2006
Total budget 1,000,000.00 €
EU contribution 483,125.00 €
Project location Cataluña(España)


Read more:

Project web site Website of the project
Publication: Layman report The Recons Project


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version