Venlo: Cradle-to-Cradle City Hall | Knowledge Hub | Circle Economy Foundation

Approved by curator

Policy case
Venlo: Cradle-to-Cradle City Hall

The municipality of Venlo, Netherlands, has commissioned its new city hall—built by Kraaijvanger—to be built using cradle-to-cradle (C2C) design principles. The new city hall will showcase healthy material choices and design for disassembly. 


Many architecture and construction projects generate much waste and do not necessarily prioritise safer materials and healthy indoor environments.


As one of the schools of thought that underpin the circular economy, C2C design allows for continuous material recovery and reutilization in a technical or biological system. Through healthy material choices and design for disassembly, it is possible to recoup some of the original investment later, as materials can be sold back to manufacturers through a ‘buy and buy-back’ scheme, and ultimately used again. 

In designing Venlo City Hall, careful attention was given to the structure of the building and to the interior fit-out and furniture installed. The close attention to detail extended to the procurement of products within the building, such as soap.


Through this building, the council hopes to encourage more cradle-to-cradle building within the district. During the design and building processes, a significant focus was placed on knowledge sharing among stakeholders, as well as the development of materials passports recording exactly what products were used. The project was driven by the goals of long-term cost savings, protecting the environment and human health, and promoting the uptake of new skills and ambitions within the municipality. The financial impact of the project is estimated at 11,5% return of investment in 40 years (i.e., 16,8 million euros), while as an example of the environmental impact, the building will purify outdoor air quality in a radius of 500m. 

The project successfully revamped Venlo's image—formerly associated with agriculture and logistics, the city achieved its goal of being recognised for innovation and circular opportunities. By embracing this new approach, Venlo has demonstrated what is possible for the future of the built environment, and through the success of the project has made a requirement for all new construction in the city to be cradle-to-cradle going forward.

Additional information

Photo by Daniel van den Berg on Unsplash

Relevant links