An increasingly environmentally sustainable circular building, even 'underground', that does not worry about having to dispose of excavation material or produce new asphalt because it can completely reuse the one removed during the works. In Bologna, the circular economy in construction is a reality: thanks to CEA - Cooperativa Edile Appennino, a company based in Monghidoro (Bo) with subsidiaries in Romania, Libya and Lebanon that, for years, has been designing and implementing innovative solutions for the construction sector.

The company, at the end of a path of progressive improvement of the working processes, has recently obtained the product certification of the inert mixtures necessary for the reuse of materials:

"Until 2019 we were able to recycle about 50% of the aggregates that were removed for maintenance work on underground water and gas lines - explains Giuseppe Salomoni, president of CEA -. Since this year this percentage has risen to a minimum of 80% to reach in many cases 100%: this means not giving rise to inert waste, however valuable, which in the past were disposed of with the obvious environmental costs, and not be forced to use new bitumen. In addition, during the summer season, through our CEA Ambiente division we are able to completely reuse all the excavation material produced by the yard: I am convinced that this is a good example of applying the principles of the circular economy to the urban fabric and I am pleased that Hera, which has always been attentive to the environmental impact of its activities, has enabled us to implement these techniques on construction sites for the maintenance of their lines."

There is great harmony between this innovation of CEA and the trajectory chosen by the Hera Group in the direction of innovation and circular economy - underlines Susanna Zucchelli, CEO of Heratech, the engineering company of Bologna's multiutility. - We, too, are implementing solutions to minimise the impact on the ecosystem of every operational phase related to our businesses, for example by using recycled plastic pipes and pipes on our construction sites whenever possible. In addition, we have an open dialogue with our suppliers to promote the use of materials with an ever lower environmental footprint, such as electric cables that, at the end of life, can be more easily broken down into their matrices and reused.

The innovative technique put in place by CEA is ready to be applied in all the yards where over 400 employees of the Bologna cooperative operate:

"Now it is up to local institutions - explains Salomoni - to put ourselves in a position to operate at our best. In many cases the municipal regulations for the management of the yards are extremely dated and make difficult, if not impossible, the normal use for filling and subsequent restoration of aggregates made with recycled raw materials, asphalt paving included. However it would be enough a small institutional effort to renew the requirements of the Municipal regulations that accompany the necessary permissions to tamper with public land avoiding the discretions on the permission to re-use thus allowing to realize literally 'discarded zero'."