GONSI SOCRATES BIOBUILDING – Circular construction in action

Project: New Construction Multi-purpose Building
Area: 6.200 m2
Location: Viladecans, Barcelona
Client: Inmobiliaria Gonsi 4.0
Architect: Pich Aguilera Arquitectos
General Contractor: Construcia S.L.
Project Management L2C: Eco Intelligent Growth, S.L. (material intelligence, circularity in practice, material passport, circular passport, circular signature, and others)
Fecha: 2020


  • Health

    To create a building that takes care of its occupants and is in harmony with the environment.

  • Circularity

    A building that will never become waste.

Main challenges:

  • Collaboration

    Construction is an industry that is normally dark and linear. Cooperation both with the other teams working in the project as well as the suppliers is not a regular practice.

  • Transparency

    To set the basis for collaboration, Developer, Architect and General Contractor decided to work in an open books project

The Gonsi Socrates Biobuilding is a project led by the real estate company Gonsi, finished in 2020. The building is located in Viladecans, an industrial área close to Barcelona city. The developer’s goal was to build the first building applying the circular economy in Spain.
To make it happen, Gonsi partnered with Spanish pioneers in the field. The architectural design is in charge of Pich Arquitects, Construcía is the general contractor and EIG is in charge of advising on the selection of materials and constructive solutions, as well as the development of the Material Passport and the resource management tool.
The building is designed to favor natural light and access to views. All materials are reviewed according to the cradle to cradle criteria. Cradle to Cradle Certified(TM) products are preferred, which has motivated some suppliers to start evaluating their products.

Transparency for circularity

The circular economy implies a new model of relationships. Collaboration and trust are required to get the whole system to work. The Socrates Building team has decided to adopt an “open books” policy to be consistent with this approach. This means that everyone shares their numbers openly, in a decision-making process also open to dialogue.

Circular Methodology

Construcía applies its Lean2Cradle methodology in this unique project. Prefabricated, modular solutions, with healthy and cyclable materials, are applied at all levels. The work coordinated with EIG for the selection of materials and products, while facilitating decision-making on a day-to-day basis, allows gathering information for the preparation of the Material Passport, a fundamental tool to preserve the circularity of the project .

The Materials Passport of Gonsi Socrates Biobuilding

This tool developed by EIG is the central part of the Lean2Cradle methodology. The tool collects all the information of the products installed, including the defined circularity parameters (health, preferred cyclability pathways, use cycle, retained value, among others).

More information about the Materials Passport in this link

The Circular Passport

The circular Passport is the Material Passport hosted in a digital platform. EIG works with myUpcyclea to provide this service.

The Circular Passport is build upon the information available in the platform at product level in the Circular Product Passports created by the manufacturers; these product passports are grouped in specific deposits for the project.

The Circular Signature and Resource Management

The Circular Signature is the name of the 4 reports resulting from the information at product level, combined with the specific quantities and location of the project. The 4 reports reflect the performance on 4 relevant KPIs:

  • Carbon Footprint
  • Material Health
  • Circularity
  • Residual Value

It is worth to say that the results are affected by the quality of the information disclosed by the manufacturers at product level and will improve in the future, when more products and better details are provided.

In any case, this digital inventory is the key to enable the recirculation of products after their use in the Gonsi Socrates Biobuilding. This is possible thanks to the Resource Management Module at myUpcyclea, the bridge to put together needs and offers in a virtual environment, and manage all the transactions required.