Glass a Scarce Commodity

A Future Scenario


  • Gertjan Peters ABT Adviseurs in bouwtechniek
  • Erwin Ten Brincke ABT Adviseurs in bouwtechniek
  • Josefien Van der Laan Dijkhuis ABT Adviseurs in bouwtechniek



The adoption of glass reuse in construction faces challenges due to higher costs and more perceived risks compared to new glass. This conflicts with the goal of a circular economy. To challenge this status quo, this article explores a hypothetical scenario where glass becomes a scarce commodity. What if the float glass production process ceases to exist due to energy resource depletion, raw material scarcity, or carbon budget constraints? In such a context, glass reuse will be crucial. This article discusses the design, logistics and quality related challenges of reusing float glass, including structural integrity and energy performance considerations. Additionally, this article investigates the potential for glass reuse by analysing ongoing and future research, supply-demand dynamics, innovative building design, the concept of the future glass factory, and the re-evaluation and promotion of regulatory frameworks. To promote glass reuse, the article emphasizes customization over standardization. Considering the diverse dynamics of projects, from high-rise buildings to terraced houses, and varying regional construction requirements, solutions must be specific and adaptable, rather than standardized.





Circularity & Sustainable Solutions