Norveški finančni mehanizem in Finančni mehanizem EGP 2014–2021
Sodelujemo za zeleno, konkurenčno in vključujočo Evropo.

StudioKroG – The first demonstration centre of the circular economy in Slovenia on the example of used shipping containers

28 September 2023 – The project ‘Studio of Circular Economy’ – studioKroG presents the concept of the Norwegian approach, which is based on a minimalist appearance and an approach without the use of virgin materials. At a press conference held on 26 September 2023 in Rogaška Slatina, the StudioKroG project and its innovative solutions were presented, focusing on the use of shipping containers in architecture and construction in the context of the circular economy. To better understand the advancement of the circular economy, they showcased individual spaces that serve as demonstrations of possible ways to use waste as resources.

The StudioKroG project, supported by the Norway Grants, is setting new standards for sustainability and reuse in these key sectors. During the press conference, speakers emphasized the importance of circular economy approaches in architecture, construction, and the development of our future. They presented their views and contributions to the development of the circular economy in Slovenia.

Mag. Bojan Pirš, the director of OKP Rogaška Slatina, a partner in the project, presented the purpose and significance of the StudioKroG project in his opening address. He highlighted the important role of local communities in shaping the future, as demonstrated by the investment that significantly contributes to a broader understanding and expertise in the field of circular resource usage. He recalled that the first reuse center in Slovenia started operating here in Rogaška Slatina 13 years ago. “Circular economy and reuse are both key concepts that focus on sustainable resource management and reducing environmental impact,” emphasized Mag. Pirš, the director of OKP. At the same time, he pointed out that the concept of reuse, which is implemented as a priority to minimize waste, complements the circular economy concept with a comprehensive approach, greater economic value of products, a sustainable and long-term solution to the increasing volume of waste, thereby contributing to addressing global challenges such as climate change and the depletion of natural resources.

At a press conference, Mr. Marko Koprivc, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development, emphasized the key role of the Ministry in promoting sustainable approaches and the importance of the circular economy. He highlighted key points such as support for sustainable development, as the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development is a key player in shaping policies that promote the sustainable development of Slovenia. This includes promoting practices that reduce environmental impact and increase the use of renewable resources, including through projects funded by the Norway Grants. He emphasized that a circular economy can contribute to local development, reduce regional inequalities, and create jobs.

Dr. Jure Kotnik, a world-renowned architect of container construction, presented the innovation of shipping containers in architecture and their key role in circular concepts. He highlighted that shipping containers represent an innovative opportunity in construction, not only recycling existing materials but also enabling the transformation of these industrial components into aesthetically pleasing and functional architectural structures. He emphasized their adaptability and possibilities for creative design. Dr. Kotnik stressed the universality of the modular approach to architecture and its potential in addressing various challenges faced by different societies. He concluded by emphasizing the inspiring aspects of container construction and its potential to shape a sustainable and aesthetically appealing future in architecture based on the principles of a circular economy. He encouraged reflection on how this approach can contribute to addressing global challenges such as climate change and pressures on natural resources.

Dr. Klavdija Rižnar, the project manager at ZRS Bistra Ptuj, presented the development and implementation of sustainable solutions using the example of the StudioKroG project. She highlighted the main objectives of the project, including its contribution to sustainable construction, promoting a circular economy, and improving the quality of life in local communities. She emphasized how the project is directing its efforts towards achieving these objectives. Dr. Rižnar also discussed how the StudioKroG project represents the first demonstration center for the circular economy, showcasing the reuse of used shipping containers as building elements and the concrete reuse and redesign of waste materials for both the interior and exterior of the mobile StudioKroG unit. She pointed out that sustainable solutions are tailored to the specific needs and environmental challenges of local environments, which adds value to the StudioKroG project.

Dr. Marinka Vovk, the head of Investment at StudioKrog, the Reuse Center, guided participants through the practical implementation of circular concepts, emphasizing circular approaches. She spoke about the new trends and approaches used by the StudioKroG project, such as energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy sources, waste design, industrial symbiosis, waste minimization, and promoting motivation to enhance understanding of the circular economy through practical examples. She supported the idea that StudioKrog represents the greatest opportunity for improving the understanding of the circular economy by demonstrating the entire process, from the acquisition of surplus shipping containers that accumulate in ports and warehouses due to globalization to addressing the global issue of textile waste through technological solutions like textile insulation. Additionally, she discussed the transformation of used and surplus building furniture and equipment into functional products. She mentioned that both investment locations are new demonstration centers with “nothing new” in terms of materials, featuring green roofs, solar panels, textile insulation, and exemplifying the concrete application of resource circularity.

Polona Kukovec Lakota from Research and Development Center RRC Ormož summarized the key findings of the awareness raising on circular economy and carbon footprint reduction. She emphasized the importance of environmental education in increasing people’s awareness of environmental issues, leading to more sustainable decisions. She highlighted the significance of conducting awareness campaigns targeting various stakeholder groups, with more than 800 participants involved in the first year.

To demonstrate that the StudioKroG project is not just theory but effective practice, conference attendees had the opportunity to enter the packaging that containers provide and observe three 12-meter and one 6-meter shipping containers arranged both vertically and horizontally (100 m2). In practice, they were convinced that the use of shipping container architecture enables the efficient utilization of existing resources, promotes sustainable construction, and contributes to waste reduction and environmental impact reduction, which is crucial for the circular economy.

Source: ZRS Bistra Ptuj

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