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Slovenia's sustainable construction practices part of Urban Future

Rotterdam, 06 June (STA) - Representatives of 35 Slovenian businesses and institutions are visiting the Netherlands this week to attend the Urban Future conference, a three-day interdisciplinary event on the sustainability of cities.

One of the panels at the conference was dedicated to Slovenia's success in reducing emissions in construction. Organised by the TVG institute, it presented Slovenian breakthrough practices in sustainable construction.

Slovenia's approach to sustainable development and the green transition is unique in the EU, said Andrej Šmid from the TVG Institute, adding that Slovenia had created requirements for the use of wood-based materials in construction in 2011.

Slovenian manufacturers use traditional, almost forgotten methods to reinvent technologically advanced materials, combining wood, hemp, horsehair, wool, cellulose, loam, clay and natural colours, he said.

The construction sector uses the most materials in the EU and in Europe, said Dragica Marinič from the Construction Institute. The sector uses nearly half of all excavated material in Europe, as well as 30% of energy. A big step towards circularity still has to be made in construction, she said.

At the sidelines of the conference Slovenia's delegation also attended two business forums with Dutch entrepreneurs and many B2B meetings.

Slovenian companies have exceptional products and patents but struggle with internationalisation, while Dutch companies are very strong in that regard, said Marko Sladojević, the president of the Slovenian-Dutch Business Forum.

"There are exceptional synergies in play. Slovenia can be a launchpad for Dutch companies for markets in its region," he said.

Urban Future is the largest and most interdisciplinary urban event in Europe and a hub for new sustainable technologies and innovative urban projects. It brings together smart city experts, infrastructure managers, experts in sustainable construction and food production, businesses and politicians, said the conference founder Gerald Babel-Sutter.

Next year the conference will be held in Lodz, Poland. Slovenia is among top contenders to host the 2026 event.

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