Article

Calculation and evaluation of circularity indicators for the built environment using the case studies of UMAR and Madaster

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Abstract

Understanding buildings as material depots radically changes the way resources need to be managed within the construction industry and the built environment. Similar to warehousing, buildings, cities and regions will have to keep track and anticipate the stocks and flows of materials, needing to document and communicate (at the right moment) which materials in what quantities and qualities become available for re-use or recycling where and at what time in the future. This paper describes the process of doc-umenting materials and products utilized in the construction of the Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR) unit within the Madaster platform. UMAR is a fully circular residential unit of Empa NEST created from secondary resources and designed as a material depot for future constructions. Madaster is an online platform, which generates and registers materials passports and calculates a Circularity Indicator for their construction, use, and end-of-life phases. The results of the calculations show that the UMAR unit is 96% circular. Constructed from 95% non-virgin and rapidly renewable materials, the unit has a utility rate of 98% and 92% of its materials are prepared to return into pure-type material cycles at the unit’s end of life. In combination, these two case studies provide a unique opportunity to evaluate the capabilities of materials passports and the Madaster Circularity Indicator to document material stocks and flows within a circular built environment, and to assess the potential of circularity indicators as a design tool sup-porting the transition towards a circular construction industry. The continuous development of tools and systems for material cadastres undoubtedly represents a key prerequisite for the implementation of a paradigm shift towards a functioning circular construction industry.

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... Tout au long de l'élaboration du projet, de sa construction, des interventions sur le bâtiment en phase d'exploitation et de son démantèlement, les données doivent être parfaitement conformes à la réalité pour assurer le démontage et le réemploi des composants [10]. L'amélioration de cette documentation est un levier extrêmement important de la transition d'une économie linéaire à une économie circulaire [7,9,[11][12][13][14][15][16]. En effet, les dispositifs de médiation traditionnels (plans, détails, cahiers des charges, ...) ne sont pas prévus pour fournir une documentation conforme et transparente concernant leurs matériaux et composants [9,17]. ...
... Niveau de consensus* BAMB Identification du composant et propriétés géométriques : Nom, type, localisation (du composant dans le bâtiment, du bâtiment dans la ville) [5-6, 8, 11-12, 15, 18, 24, 29, 36, 38] 11 X Dimensions, volume, poids, densité, quantité [6-8, 11, 14-15, 18, 29, 34, 38] 10 X Propriétaire [6] 1 X Propriétés : Nom du fabricant, ID, marque [5,8,12,15,34] 5 X Date de fabrication / mise en service [38] 1 X Fonction initiale/principale du produit [8,29,34] 3 X Données structurelles : stabilité, résistance à la compression [34][35] 2 X Données physiques : performances thermiques (valeur U), acoustique, porosité, étanchéité à l'air [34] 1 X Informations optiques : couleur, structure, surface, transparence X Composition chimique / composition du matériau X Toxicité des matériaux [7,12,15,36] 4 X Matériau traité ou non [7] 1 X Résistance au feu [34] 1 X Standardisation / préfabrication [7] 1 X Provenance du matériau initial, également s'il s'agissait de réemploi [8,15,36,38] 4 Impact environmental: GWP (global warming potential), AP (acidification potential), PEI (primary energy intensity) / déclaration environnementale / labels et certification [5, 7, 11-12, 14, 16, 18, 24, 32-33, 36] 11 X Durée de vie / durée de vie estimée [8,11,15,29] 4 X Garanties / qualité [15,34,38] 3 X Coût [5] 1 Photo du produit [8] 1 X . 3 X Instructions logistiques : manipulation, transport, stockage [7,12,24,[34][35] 5 X Sécurité : équipement de protection et outils nécessaires au (dés)assemblage [7,36] 2 X Utilisation future définie / options de seconde vie [7,15] 2 X Valeur résiduelle X Indicateurs de durabilité : Analyse de cycle de vie ou ACV [7,14,18,24,33] 5 X Indicateurs de circularité [7-8, 15, 33,-34] 5 Indicateur de l'efficacité du recyclage [8,11,[14][15][16]18] 6 La part de matières premières renouvelables et non-renouvelables [15,36] 2 X *Légende niveau de consensus : > 6 citations = élevé ; 3-6 citations = moyen ; < 3 citations = réduit Nous remarquons que certaines de ces informations font pratiquement l'unanimité (tableau 2, consensus élevé). ...
... Niveau de consensus* BAMB Identification du composant et propriétés géométriques : Nom, type, localisation (du composant dans le bâtiment, du bâtiment dans la ville) [5-6, 8, 11-12, 15, 18, 24, 29, 36, 38] 11 X Dimensions, volume, poids, densité, quantité [6-8, 11, 14-15, 18, 29, 34, 38] 10 X Propriétaire [6] 1 X Propriétés : Nom du fabricant, ID, marque [5,8,12,15,34] 5 X Date de fabrication / mise en service [38] 1 X Fonction initiale/principale du produit [8,29,34] 3 X Données structurelles : stabilité, résistance à la compression [34][35] 2 X Données physiques : performances thermiques (valeur U), acoustique, porosité, étanchéité à l'air [34] 1 X Informations optiques : couleur, structure, surface, transparence X Composition chimique / composition du matériau X Toxicité des matériaux [7,12,15,36] 4 X Matériau traité ou non [7] 1 X Résistance au feu [34] 1 X Standardisation / préfabrication [7] 1 X Provenance du matériau initial, également s'il s'agissait de réemploi [8,15,36,38] 4 Impact environmental: GWP (global warming potential), AP (acidification potential), PEI (primary energy intensity) / déclaration environnementale / labels et certification [5, 7, 11-12, 14, 16, 18, 24, 32-33, 36] 11 X Durée de vie / durée de vie estimée [8,11,15,29] 4 X Garanties / qualité [15,34,38] 3 X Coût [5] 1 Photo du produit [8] 1 X . 3 X Instructions logistiques : manipulation, transport, stockage [7,12,24,[34][35] 5 X Sécurité : équipement de protection et outils nécessaires au (dés)assemblage [7,36] 2 X Utilisation future définie / options de seconde vie [7,15] 2 X Valeur résiduelle X Indicateurs de durabilité : Analyse de cycle de vie ou ACV [7,14,18,24,33] 5 X Indicateurs de circularité [7-8, 15, 33,-34] 5 Indicateur de l'efficacité du recyclage [8,11,[14][15][16]18] 6 La part de matières premières renouvelables et non-renouvelables [15,36] 2 X *Légende niveau de consensus : > 6 citations = élevé ; 3-6 citations = moyen ; < 3 citations = réduit Nous remarquons que certaines de ces informations font pratiquement l'unanimité (tableau 2, consensus élevé). ...
Article
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Dans un contexte environnemental en crise, le secteur de la construction est un important consommateur de matières premières et producteur de déchet. Il fait donc l’objet de diverses études et actions visant à le faire entrer dans une démarche d’économie circulaire. En particulier, les informations en lien avec les matériaux de construction sont cruciales tout au long du cycle de vie du bâtiment. La définition et le maintien de ces informations au travers de « passeports matériaux » (PM) présentent des opportunités riches et foisonnantes, en particulier en lien avec les pratiques du Building Information Modeling (BIM). Mais force est de constater que la définition de ces PM BIM et leur implémentation restent à leur début et rencontrent de nombreuses difficultés. Cet article propose une analyse de la littérature scientifique sur les PM BIM. On identifie les mises en oeuvre actuelles du PM BIM et leurs difficultés, mettant en avant l’importance d’interroger la structuration et le contenu du PM. Cet article identifie le potentiel mais aussi les possibles blocages de l’utilisation de PM BIM en vue de supporter la définition de futures directions de recherche.
... The academic discourse on CE in the building industry covers several dimensions and predominantly focuses on strategies for closing the material loops (Benachio et al., 2020). Scholars argue that existing building stock can be a source of raw materials (Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020) and can serve as a "material bank" in the future for new buildings . Extracting valuable materials from anthropogenic stock and reintroducing them into economic processes through reuse and recycling is called "urban mining" (Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020, Koutamanis et al., 2018. ...
... Scholars argue that existing building stock can be a source of raw materials (Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020) and can serve as a "material bank" in the future for new buildings . Extracting valuable materials from anthropogenic stock and reintroducing them into economic processes through reuse and recycling is called "urban mining" (Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020, Koutamanis et al., 2018. Urban mining and other value retention interventions depend on the availability of detailed information on the material composition of buildings (Honic et al., 2019;Koutamanis et al., 2018), how component connections are made (Iacovidou et al., 2018), and where and when in the future resources will become available (Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020). ...
... Extracting valuable materials from anthropogenic stock and reintroducing them into economic processes through reuse and recycling is called "urban mining" (Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020, Koutamanis et al., 2018. Urban mining and other value retention interventions depend on the availability of detailed information on the material composition of buildings (Honic et al., 2019;Koutamanis et al., 2018), how component connections are made (Iacovidou et al., 2018), and where and when in the future resources will become available (Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020). However, accessing such information is challenging as existing buildings are usually poorly documented (van den Berg et al., 2021) and exposed to changes throughout their lifetime that are not reported systematically , Iacovidou et al., 2018. ...
Article
Full-text available
Digital technologies are considered enablers of circular economy implementation in the built environment. Literature mainly focuses on conceptual or review studies examining the role of digital tools (e.g., material passport and building information modelling) to close the material loops. There is a lack of understanding of how digital technologies are implemented in real-life and whether they offer value to the industry actors. This study conducted a multiple-case study to collect empirical evidence from Dutch social housing organizations actively applying circular principles in new construction, renovation, maintenance, and demolition projects. Our findings suggest that artificial intelligence, digital twins, and scanning technologies support data collection, integration, and analysis for slowing the loops strategies (i.e., maintenance), while digital marketplaces facilitate material reuse, enabling narrowing and closing the loops. This study identified 12 challenges that hinder the broader adoption of digital technologies that are associated with the technological, cultural, market, and regulatory factors.
... In the business community, there are some recognized measuring tools such as the Material Circularity Indicator (MCI), Circulytics, the Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) framework, the Cradle to Cradle Certified and the CE monitoring framework developed by the European Commission. In particular, for the CDW sector, some research on indicators has been conducted (Akinade et al., 2015;Bilal et al., 2020;Foster and Kreinin, 2020;Fregonara et al., 2017;Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020;Vefago and Avellaneda, 2013;Yeheyis et al., 2013), however, they are mainly focused on one or more circularity criteria for buildings, rather than providing a holistic integration of CE parameters. ...
... In the scientific literature, a very reduced number of studies have focused on the construction industry, also lacking holistic integration of CE parameters. Current related approaches include the Building Information Modelling based Deconstructability Assessment Score (Akinade et al., 2015), the Mitigation framework to evaluate the level of implementation of the CE in the building sector for developing countries (Bilal et al., 2020), the Bridge Circularity Indicator (Coenen et al., 2021), the Predictive Building Circularity Indicator (Cottafava and Ritzen, 2021), Key environmental indicators for adaptive reuse of cultural heritage buildings (Foster and Kreinin, 2020), the Synthetic economic-environmental indicator for the end-of-life of buildings (Fregonara et al., 2017), the Circularity Indicator Building Score (Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020), best performance indicators to measure the management performance of end-of-life gypsum (Jiménez-Rivero and García-Navarro, 2016), the Circular Economy measurement scale for building industry (Nuñez-Cacho et al., 2018), the Index of recyclability of buildings (Vefago and Avellaneda, 2013), and the Construction waste LCA-based sustainability index (Yeheyis et al., 2013). ...
... Moreover, developments on measuring-monitoring tools such as indicators for capturing CE progress and performance are very reduced, resulting in the lack of a comprehensive framework for CE evaluation (Hossain et al., 2020;Munaro et al., 2020). Although some research efforts about circularity indicators and measuring tools including CDW have been developed (Akinade et al., 2015;Bilal et al., 2020;Foster and Kreinin, 2020;Fregonara et al., 2017;Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020;Vefago and Avellaneda, 2013;Yeheyis et al., 2013), they do not consider a complete integration of CE-related principles and are mostly steered to monitor one or more circularity strategies for buildings. Therefore, specific indicators focused on tracking circularity progress in the CDW sector are currently unexplored. ...
Thesis
Construction and demolition waste (CDW) is a major environmental concern that requires immediate attention. The large volumes of CDW produced and its associated environmental effects have led to explore new alternatives addressing this problem in more sustainable ways. In this context, the Circular Economy (CE) paradigm emerged as an innovative solution for creating more sustainable production and consumption patterns, fostering economic growth, and providing environmental protection and social welfare. At the global level, the concept of CE has gained increasing interest from government bodies, business organizations and academics. This has resulted in multiple political agendas including CE as a core driver, as well as an emerging trend of research exploring its concept and applications. However, because of the novelty and dynamism of the concept, research developments on practical applications and quantitative assessments are at an early stage. The main aim of this study was to propose an approach to integrate the CE concept in the construction and demolition sector, as well as providing the basis for evaluating the environmental and economic effects of circularity strategies and to monitor their implementation. For this purpose, an integrative framework of strategies for CE adoption in the CDW sector is proposed. This together with a methodological proposal to evaluate and compare the environmental and economic performance of different circularity alternatives incorporating multi-criteria decision analysis. In addition, this work proposes a system of indicators for measuring CE features for CDW products. The proposed framework identifies 14 influential strategies for the circularity of the CDW sector and describes their interaction throughout its lifecycle stages. The methodological proposal incorporates the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology to assess the environmental dimension., while the economic criteria adopt a complex cost method. The multicriteria VIKOR method was used to perform the multi-criteria analysis. The methodology is applied to evaluate the use of concrete waste in high-grade applications, specifically the production of structural and non-structural concrete mixes in the region of Catalonia, Spain. The indicators framework incorporates a systematic approach considering the most relevant factors and parameters for successful measurement of CE interventions. It consists of 22 measures within the three dimensions of environment, economic and innovation/materials. Preconstruction strategies are highlighted as the most influential in the circularity of the sector. CE strategies presented better environmental and economic performance; however, results are conditioned by the particular context of the study. Transportation and landfilling are identified as the most conditioning parameters affecting both environmental and economic performance.
... The majority of the growing anthropogenic mass is made by concrete, aggregates, bricks, and metals used in buildings [30]. Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber [31] argue that this anthropogenic stock could be seen as material depots that reserve materials for constructing future buildings and cities. Indeed, many studies in the circular BE research focus on how to reuse and recycle materials from urban stocks as well as other industries for producing new construction products [32]. ...
... They can be created at different aggregation levels ranging from materials to buildings [41]. Academic studies typically consider them as decision support tool and include life cycle analysis as an essential part [17,37] whereas commercial versions, such as Madaster Platform [16], see the technology as digital registry of building and product data and calculate circularity level of buildings [31]. Both BIM applications and MP technologies are developed for material or products (nano) and component or building (micro) levels. ...
... Our brief literature analysis showed that there is no single study focusing on enabling DTs for the meso level of circular BE, which corresponds to the real estate portfolio or neighbourhood scales. Also, the majority of the articles presented in Table 1 are theoretical studies lacking empirical evidence from the real-life implementation of DTs, with the exception of [31,48]. Therefore, this study aims to address these gaps by examining European SHOs who are actively experimenting with CE principles. ...
Conference Paper
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The world is facing an alarming housing crisis. The challenge for the construction industry is to find sustainable ways to meet this growing housing demand. The concept of Circular Economy could be an alternative approach as it aims to regenerate, narrow, slow, and close resources loops. Digital technologies are seen as enablers to implementing these looping strategies through their capabilities for managing information and supporting collaboration and new business model creation. In the built environment, many digital innovations have emerged that support the circular transition of the industry at various spatial scales. However, these innovations mainly focus on nano, micro, and macro scales and lack perspectives on the meso level (real estate portfolio). This research aims to understand how digital technologies can support circular strategies at the meso level by collecting empirical evidence from the European social housing organizations actively experimenting with circular strategies. We conducted a multiple-case study method and chose two cases from the UK and Belgium. We collected data through desk research and online group interviews. Our results indicate that housing organizations adopt a wide range of circular strategies for managing their housing portfolio. The support of digital technologies to perform the circularity is low. Our findings suggest five potentially enabling digital technologies at the meso level supporting the housing sector towards circularity: circular asset management tools, digital building logbooks, material passports, BIM, and collaboration tools.
... At the macro scale, a circular city requires to have detailed information about the construction materials and buildings and their circular potential for future re-use [26] to promote the closing of materials flows [27]. For the purpose, material passports are suggested as detailed inventories of all the materials, components and products used in a building, as well as about quantities, qualities, dimensions, and locations of all the materials [27]. ...
... At the macro scale, a circular city requires to have detailed information about the construction materials and buildings and their circular potential for future re-use [26] to promote the closing of materials flows [27]. For the purpose, material passports are suggested as detailed inventories of all the materials, components and products used in a building, as well as about quantities, qualities, dimensions, and locations of all the materials [27]. The circularity rate of materials as well as of the whole building can be calculated in the design stage of the building providing information about its reusability and/or recyclability (and tracking) of each component in the whole building [26,27,28]. ...
... For the purpose, material passports are suggested as detailed inventories of all the materials, components and products used in a building, as well as about quantities, qualities, dimensions, and locations of all the materials [27]. The circularity rate of materials as well as of the whole building can be calculated in the design stage of the building providing information about its reusability and/or recyclability (and tracking) of each component in the whole building [26,27,28]. ...
Article
The present study explores the environmental quality (natural and recycled content, recyclability, life cycle method) of a sample of certified construction products available in different database in Italy (Remade in Italy, Atlante dell’Economia Circolare, Observatory Recycle-Legambiente Report, Accredia). The results evidence the identification of a wide range of construction products with different certified recycled contents and Italian origin under the certification standard “Remade in Italy”. Moreover, 42% of the certified products rely on the use of LCA for the assessment of the environmental impacts, while 22% of certified products integrate the features of recycled content with the recyclability at the end-of-life. Overall, results show the role certifications may have in increasing the information available on products and their environmental quality, including their traceability in the reverse supply chain, becoming a potential driver for CE adoption and a wider development for such products.
... In recent years, some investigators have been looking at how MP can be used to lower financial barriers to promote material reuse for the benefit of stockists and fabricators [29]. Other researchers have used MP to calculate building indicators in the construction, operation, and end-of-life phases [30]. It is possible that MP could store and provide building materials' information and, thereby, offer help at the design and material manufacturing phase. ...
... However, the CLMC does not consider construction activities themselves. A study by Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber [30] evaluated the capabilities of Material Passport and Madaster (a digital platform to document, register and archive the materials applied in buildings and construction objects) to document the inventory and flow of materials in a circular building environment as well as its potential as a design tool for promoting the drive towards recycling. The authors reported that the continuous development of tools and systems for tracking materials is a critical prerequisite for transitioning to a circular development model in the AEC industry. ...
Article
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The rapidly accelerating economic development of newly industrialised countries (NICs) has created far-reaching environmental problems. The new construction of numerous infrastructures and buildings, particularly in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, has led to an exponential increase in the demand for raw materials and energy, which is leading to the depletion of natural resources. The approach to treating these buildings at the end of life has also raised concerns worldwide. Transforming the current linear development model into a circular economy is considered an effective solution. This paper reviews a broad range of relevant literature, extracting four key factors influencing building circularity (BC) from past studies. These factors are interpreted as four key processes dealing with building materials: pre-treatment, composition, decomposition, and post-treatment. We demonstrate how materials are treated throughout the building lifecycle to illustrate the interrelationships among these processes and to exemplify the potential of the key processes for effecting BC. Additionally, two examples are used to support the theoretical framework. This study intends to make contributions to circular economy theories and to provide references for policymakers and practitioners.
... The suitability of ground radar for material data acquisition is associated with laser scanning technology for geometry acquisition [34]. Madaster is a Swiss building raw material register, in which the MPs of the registered objects serve as a basis for urban mining processes, showing circular and financial potential and the possibility of component reuse [35]. Growing in Circles: the Global Initiative for Resource-Efficient Cities (GI-REC) program launched by the UN seeks to apply integrated approaches and analyses such as urban metabolism to urban planning and management. ...
... The MP serves as a document of material characterization/composition of a building and simultaneously offers the potential for building up of digital material cadastres [38]. For example, this concept has been implemented in the form of the Swiss material cadastre (madaster), in which building owners can register and enter their objects [35]. The MPs generated in this way serve as a basis for urban mining processes, show circular and financial potential, and the possibility of component reuse. ...
Article
Circular economy in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction requires consideration in the design, deconstruction-planning, and waste management. This paper aims to develop a Framework to evaluate the material sustainability of buildings by comparing the proportionality of costs to environmental impacts of construction waste flows. Therefore, an extensive literature review was conducted to find parameters needed, such as building certification, life cycle assessment, or material passports. Next, a distillation process was conducted to reduce the large number of parameters found to be manageable. Following the applicable legislation, procedures to be carried out at different stages, from dismantling to recycling or treatment, were defined. Practical applications were derived, such as support for deconstruction management, resource management, and conclusions for planning. The final parameters were assigned to these processes. Due to a lack of data, data collection and public data provision are essential for applicability.
... Madaster's [52,53] name stands for a new type of cadastre for (building) materials. In the online platform of the same name, https://madaster.de/plattform/(accessed on 9 July 2022), buildings are registered, including the materials and products they contain. ...
... This article also supplements various other contributions on circular economy indicators (e.g., [50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58]) and provides some findings to be used to close the gap of sustainability indicators for circular products in public procurement. As a contribution to practice, the concept of such a Triple-C indicator shall be integrated into sustainability recommendation software and a German working group on circular economy indicators, stimulating further work in this context. ...
Article
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Various microlevel circular economy indicators for assessing sustainability and, partly, additional sustainability characteristics have been developed, but an integrated solution considering the environmental, social, and economic pillars remains a research gap. Method: Based on a multimethod approach, including surveys and the analysis of existing sustainability assessment methodologies and standards, this paper proposes a concept for a multidimensional circular economy indicator tailored to public procurers. It relies on attractive existing building blocks including: (1) the ecological scarcity method, (2) European and international sustainability standards and indicators, and (3) the STAR-ProBio-IAT concept. Results: This article presents the concept of the composite indicator Triple-C, consisting of 20 elements and aimed at facilitating sustainable circular public procurement. It is intended to be incorporated into software that facilitates sustainable product decisions among public procurers in Germany. Conclusions: We propose a generic indicator concept covering all three (environmental, social, and economic) sustainability pillars. More research and additional standards are needed to develop the Triple-C concept further into product-specific applications.
... Most of the circular economy research in the built environment is about recycled/reusable materials (Gálvez-Martos et al., 2018), circular transition (Pomponi and Moncaster, 2017), tools and assessment to support circular buildings (Giorgi, Lavagna and Campioli, 2019;Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020), product and building design (Akinade et al., 2019), and stock and flow analyses of resources and materials (Krausmann et al., 2017). Although less researched, collaborative platform for material Information management has been identified as one of the critical components of enabling a circular economy in the built environment (Charef and Lu, 2021). ...
... As stated, most of the work on material passports in the construction sector focused on developing material passports at a building level Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020;Kedir, Bucher, and Hall, 2021). However, from a circular perspective, the material passport should have additional information to support city-level activities such as urban planning (Herthogs et al., 2012;Li, Quan, and Yang, 2016). ...
... Highly frequent keywords include "CDW" (construction and demolition wastes), "Mechanical Property", "Sustainable Construction", and "Concrete". The construction industry represents one of the biggest consumers of energy and materials [65]. According to the [41], construction activities account for 40 per cent of all GHG emissions, 50 per cent of all energy use, 30 per cent of all water use, and 50 per cent of all materials extracted. ...
... Overall, the focus of this cluster is on the necessity to establish a circular construction industry. This requires the continuous development of systems and tools for material reuse, recycling, and recovery and the formulation of schemes incentivising the stakeholders to invest in circular and closed-loop construction activities [57,65]. ...
Article
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The circular economy (CE) field has recently attracted significant interest from academics and practitioners. CE represents a departure from the linear economy, which is characterised by unsustainable resource production and consumption. The growing number of publications necessitates a comprehensive analysis of this field. This is the first systematic examination of the knowledge base and knowledge diffusion pathways in the CE domain. We analyse a Web of Science dataset containing 5431 articles published between 1970 and 2020. To create a comprehensive review of the CE domain, we conducted a keyword co-occurrence network analysis. We examined four distinct types of main paths using the main path analysis (MPA) technique: forward, backward, global, and key-route. According to the analyses, CE research focuses on six primary research themes: CE and sustainability, bioeconomy, CE practices, lifecycle assessment and industrial symbiosis, construction activities, and waste management. In addition, the MPA demonstrates that the CE literature has recently focused on Industry 4.0 technologies and their contribution to CE. This is the first attempt to depict the genealogy of CE research so that scholars can comprehend the domain’s evolutionary structure, identify hot topics, and capture the history, development status, and potential future directions of CE research.
... Thus, the concepts of Material Passport (MP), Material Cycle Status (MCS), etc. have emerged. Material Passport refers to keeping a record of the material composition of a product or building through detailed information about quantities such as weight, volume, dimensions, and location [25], which usually involves the steps of data generation and input into the database, the consequent generation of materials passports, and a Circularity Index [26]. Madaster is a materials passport platform, which can conduct the circularity indicator for construction, as well as generate, store, and manage individual building portfolios. ...
... Felix Heisel described the process of documenting materials and products utilized in the construction of the Urban Mining and Recycling unit within the Madaster platform. He explored the method of assessing the potential of circularity indicators, the process of which involves the building material/product level and the building element level [26]. Gaochuang Cai et al. proposed a material and component bank to manage more effectively the recycling of materials and direct reuse of components, which combined with the current building information modeling, design for deconstruction, supply chain, and LCA [29]. ...
Article
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The recycling potential (RP) indicates the ability of building materials to form a closed-loop material flow, that is, the material efficiency during its whole life cycle. Mass timber constructions and concrete buildings vary widely in RP, but the differences are difficult to calculate. This paper proposed a level-based scheme to compare the RP of mass timber and concrete buildings, and a BIM-Eco2soft-MS Excel workflow coupling Material Cycle Database and digital design tools were established to obtain information on building materials, resource consumption, and environmental impact for the RP calculation. Taking a residential building as an example, the difference in RP between mass timber and concrete at the material-level is firstly discussed. Then at the component-level, the RP of the wood structure component and concrete component is compared, and the optimization methods are proposed. Finally, the difference in RP between the mass timber building and reinforced concrete building at the building-level are illustrated. The results show that the RP of mass timber building is higher, and the disassembly ability is better. Within a 100-year service life, the RP of mass timber buildings is 73% and that of the reinforced concrete building is 34%. The total amount of material consumption and waste of the Variant CLT is 837,030 kg and 267,237 kg respectively, which is less than one-third of that of concrete buildings (3,458,488 kg; 958,145 kg). The Global Warming potential (GWP) of these two variants is −174.0 kgCO2/m2 and 221.0 kgCO2/m2 separately, indicating that the Variant CLT can realize negative carbon emissions and gain ecological benefits. A sensitivity analysis is conducted to explore the potential impacts of certain parameters on GWP and RP of buildings. The research can provide the reference for material selection, component design, and RP optimization of mass timber buildings. In addition, new ideas for assessing the potential of circularity as a design tool are proposed to support the transition towards a circular construction industry and to realize carbon neutrality.
... According to Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber [21], such analysis requires precise knowledge of the mass and of the precise moment in time when different materials are being used or being released. The database used here only partially fulfills this criterion, as it does not contain a sufficient number of products with complete data for all product stages and, furthermore, does not differentiate between different raw materials for products. ...
... One important value added by this article is the application of the (adapted) MCI indicator and its application to a publicly available database. However, the availability of accurate data indicating when and which amounts of materials are being used or being released [21] currently represents the main obstacle to properly evaluating circularity on the product level. The database used in this article only partially fulfills this data criterion as, for example, differentiation between different raw materials within a product is lacking. ...
Article
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Background Owing to the large amounts of energy, greenhouse gases, and waste that it generates, the construction industry is fundamental to the transition towards a circular economy. Indicators which show the circularity of products—and thus make them comparable with each other—can be used to support the implementation of such an economy. In this article, we have adapted the material circularity indicator of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in order to analyze the circularity of construction products available in the German environmental database ÖKOBAUDAT. Results The adapted indicator is applied to 89 building products from the categories of insulation materials, plastics, metals, and mineral building materials. More than half of the products receive the lowest score of 0.10, indicating poor implementation of circular strategies in the German construction industry to date. Conclusion Circular material flows are most likely to be employed for metals. However, the overall low circularity scores indicate a big need for better implementing circularity strategies.
... The circularity paradigm implicates a new era of building design that has been of great interest to architects, construction professionals, and their clients [1]. However, the paradigm is still not common, although it is present in practice and research [2,3]. Therefore, the paper aims to learn from a real case study of a circular office building under development. ...
... The emergence of life cycle assessment tools and software allows for full building inventories and total building environmental evaluations. For instance, Heisel et al. [2] described the Madaster platform, storing the materials' details and assessing the building's circularity [4]. ...
Article
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Circular building design is a concept that is gaining great interest from architects, construction professionals, and their clients but is still rarely adopted in practice. One of the earliest design decisions architects and developers should make to design a circular building is to determine the building’s construction system. The choice of constructive and structural systems, such as columns, beams, and slabs, is crucial to upgrade the reuse cycles in the future. Flexible construction systems can make it easier to dismantle the structures and recover, upgrade, modify, or transform building materials. Therefore, this paper assesses the carbon emission impacts of two construction systems for an office building in Belgium using life cycle assessment (LCA) and circularity criteria. One-Click LCA software was used for the calculations. Parametric analysis took place for two construction systems scenarios involving a steel structure and a timber structure. Life Cycle Assessment and comparisons of the various construction systems are made based on ISO 14040, 14044, and CEN/TC 350 standards with a focus on carbon neutrality. The results show that using local plant-based materials such as wood can drastically reduce office buildings’ carbon footprint. Based on the sensitivity analysis results, the overall global warming potential impact is mostly sensitive to the construction material’s weight and reuse and dismantling ability. This paper provides a better understanding of building structural systems; to inform architects about the circularity potential of different construction systems.
... The cycle comparison is shown in Table 3. Table 4 shows the comparison of indicators used in these models. For example, the model of Madaster ignores the indicators for the efficiency of the recycling process and functional units achieved [48]. The material flow model includes the indicator of functional units achieved. ...
... Using the example of the beam presented in Table 7, the implications can be illustrated using the current model and the proposed material flow model. Setting 3 is the current Madaster model [48], which considers the recycling materials and the reused materials equally circular. Setting 4 is the proposed material flow model, with the weight of the recycling material set to 0.4, assuming that the recycling material is less circular than the reusing material. ...
Article
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Circular Economy (CE) has proved its contribution to addressing environmental impacts in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industries. Building Circularity (BC) assessment methods have been developed to measure the circularity of building projects. However, there still exists ambiguity and inconsistency in these methods. Based on the reviewed literature, this study proposes a new framework for BC assessment, including a material flow model, a Material Passport (MP), and a BC calculation method. The material flow model redefines the concept of BC assessment, containing three circularity cycles and five indicators. The BC MP defines the data needed for the assessment, and the BC calculation method provides the equations for building circularity scoring. The proposed framework offers a comprehensive basis to support a coherent and consistent implementation of CE in the AEC industry.
... A CE requires a paradigm shift in how we design, construct, and operate buildings, as well as in the way materials, products and components are being managed. As a prerequisite, it necessitates a detailed model of the current built environment to document and anticipate the stocks and flows of materials and communicate (at the right moment) which materials, in what quantities, and qualities become available for reuse or recycling where and at what time in the future (Hebel et al., 2014;Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020). Containing combined and compatible geometric, material, historic and energy modeling data, the availability and utilization of such data represent a key milestone towards developing material loops critical to the CE. ...
... The motivation is the creation of an easy-to-use decision-making framework that allows scenario simulations and an in-depth understanding on how the built environment can simultaneously reduce embodied and operational carbon emissions by holistically addressing material selection and recycling / reuse scenarios, construction methods, and energy optimization measuressomething that cannot be done with existing, specialized models. The newly developed model thus combines all thermally relevant constructions and BEM zones with data containing material amounts and specifications, information on construction systems, connections, and their reversibility saved in the form of building and material passports (Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020) and BEM settings including space loads, schedules and conditioning system configuration. Based on this, the model can assess the impact of new real estate developments, inform retrofitting incentives and policies, and provide insights on how climate change will impact a community's carbon footprint and vice versa. ...
Article
As global and local actors seek to address climate concerns, municipalities, regions, and countries are developing policies for the built environment to reach carbon neutrality. In most cases, however, current policies target new construction and operational carbon emissions only, thus omitting the significant carbon emission saving potential resulting from the reactivation of embodied carbon in existing buildings. This article describes the development of a high-resolution combined building stock model (BSM) and building energy model (BEM) on both building and urban scale using all residential buildings of Ithaca, NY, USA as a case study. The model offers a holistic, detailed and local perspective on operational and embodied carbon emissions, associated saving potentials at both the building and urban scale, and the linkages, trade-offs and synergies between buildings and energy use as a basis for decision-making. A circular economy (CE) in construction posited on the reuse and recycling of existing building materials, necessitates a detailed material inventory of the current building stock. However, the scale and nature of this endeavor preclude traditional survey methods. The modeling process described in this article instead engages a bottom-up data aggregation and analysis approach that combines detailed construction archetypes (CAs) and publicly available, higher-level municipal geospatial data with building metadata defining occupancy and systems to create an autogenerated, detailed 3D geometry. The resulting BSM and BEM can simulate both embodied carbon content and operational carbon emissions of individual buildings within a municipal study with minimal required input data and a feasible computational effort. This provides modelers with a new spatial and geometric fidelity to simulate holistic renewal efforts, and inform carbon neutrality policies and incentives towards the decarbonization of the built environment.
... The construction industry is responsible for the largest portion of material consumption globally, with more than three billion tons of raw materials being used in the manufacture of materials and components, which represents approximately 40-50% of total global production [1]. This varies greatly by country, in the USA for example, building and construction accounts for approximately 60% of material consumption [2], and in Europe the construction industry is responsible for approximately 50% of raw material use, 50% of all energy use, and 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions [3]. The construction industry is similarly responsible for generating the largest portion of solid waste globally [4]. ...
Article
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The construction industry is responsible for a significant portion of the solid waste that industrialised nations dispose of each year. One reason for this is the low rates of reuse and recycling, largely due to the difficulties in deconstructing buildings and an inability to easily separate materials and components. If buildings were designed to facilitate deconstruction and the easier separation of the parts, then future material and component recovery would be easier. Previous research into historic examples of deconstruction has identified numerous principles for design for disassembly. This paper presents research that expands on this understanding of design for disassembly though the application of these principles in architectural design projects. A methodology of ‘research through designing’ is implemented to explore the principles and assess their suitability for integration into mainstream construction practice. Several domestic scaled architectural projects were used to trial the principles and the overarching philosophy. This experimentation and research through creative practice, has confirmed the value of the principles of design for disassembly as strategies for the potential reduction of future demolition waste. Further to this, it has made explicit some of the otherwise unrealised consequences or constraints of designing for future disassembly.
... In current research and practices of Circular Economy in the construction sector, the focus is mostly on moveable parts of the building, such as e.g., furniture, appliances, flooring etc. [19]. However, structural and insulating materials make up for the highest quantity of materials used in a building. ...
Article
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The construction sector is responsible for about 50% of all extracted raw material and for over 35% of the EU’s total waste generation. To transition to a circular construction model, reliable and standardized information on the material composition of buildings is required. A Circular Material Passport (CMP) can organize and store such information. It provides an identity for a certain product and assigns value to it, enabling the recovery of materials by providing information for maintenance, recovery, reuse and recycling. A set of various CMPs can also be turned into a Building Materials Passport. This paper proposes a new structure for a CMP. The new CMP distinguishes itself from previous efforts to define material passports since it is aligned with the EU Level(s) framework of core sustainability indicators for office and residential buildings. This paper, firstly, reviews the relevant indicators from the Level(s) framework. Secondly, analyzes the current barriers in the development and use of material passports and proposes mitigation measure. Thirdly, identifies parameters to provide relevant information to promote circularity in the built environment. Fourthly, summarizes the findings and proposes a new structure for a lean CMP. The proposed CMP structure can be divided into three sections: 1) general data, 2) product context use and location, and 3) circularity potential. It can be concluded that indicators provided by the CMP could have the potential to be used for public procurement, as well as to define building permit criteria and assessment. Moreover, CMPs should be integrated with Building Information Modelling (BIM) and as a support tool for pre-demolition audits for identifying reusable and recyclable construction products and materials. The importance of policy development for the promotion of a standardized and regulated use of this tool needs to be highlighted.
... With existing production approaches, a large amount of waste is generated. The transition toward a CE model, wherein materials, components, and products are kept for as long as possible in circulation (Bovea et al., 2018), is a key step to addressing existing economic, environmental, and social issues, thereby establishing a resilient and sustainable economy (Chiaroni et al., 2022;Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020). Furthermore, the realization of a CE offers growth prospects and reduces waste while optimizing resource consumption (Kirchherr et al., 2017;Kristensen and Mosgaard, 2020). ...
Article
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The circular economy (CE) has emerged as a paradigm to protect the environment and the well-being of future generations. In parallel, Blockchain technology (BC) has emerged as a critical enabler for accelerating the transition toward a CE. In order to understand and summarize prior research on the role of BC in the CE, we conducted a systematic literature review (SLR) of 70 seminal articles published before July 2022. Six main themes emerged: a) CE approaches and practices, b) BC and the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT), c) sustainable supply chain management, d) BC and the CE in the COVID-19 era, e) sector-specific BC applications, and f) barriers to BC adoption in the CE. Furthermore, we develop a comprehensive framework that integrates stakeholders, strategies and practices, industrial sectors and a BC-enabled CE.
... However, services components like air conditioners and heaters may hold significant economic or energy value. Previous methodologies have also been criticized for using mass as a normalizing factor [39,40]. Therefore, building level of importance (LK) and flexibility scores (BFS) are used instead of the mass (kg) of the system. ...
Conference Paper
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Circular economy (CE), focused on closing the material loops, turns out to be relevant in the building industry to improve the construction process and reduce waste. Assessing the circular performance of buildings reveals the current level of achievement and future areas of improvement, hence aiding in transitioning from a linear to a CE based construction industry. However, this can be very complex, especially due to absence of a universally accepted Circularity Assessment Framework. Bearing that, a comprehensive CE assessment tool called Whole-Building Circularity Indicator (WBCI) is being developed at Engineering Department of University of Campania. This study tests and validates the first version of the freshly released WBCI using an existing apartment building in Southern Italy as a case study. The data is collected through building documents (detailed drawings, specifications) and site visits, and then modelled in BIM to perform a rigorous analysis. The results show that the apartment building does not perform well in circularity and scores very low (0.274). Excessive use of virgin materials, linear design approach, poor adaptability and disassembly potential after the end of life are the leading causes for this low score. The space plan turns out to be the most circular system among different building layers. The validation also uncovers the positives and negatives of the tested model. Finally, the study recommends practical strategies to improve the circular performance of residential buildings. With these advantages, this paper contributes to the much-anticipated debate on the measurement of CE in the building industry and can help construction practitioners estimate how advanced they are in the process of transition from linear to circular.
... Consequently, although there is an increasing awareness of circularity potential in the AEC sector, the lack of design tools and guidelines is one of the main barriers to the implementation of circular solutions [2]. Indicators have been developed regarding circularity [3,4], or urban mining [5], but have so far been used only in exemplary demo projects [6]. Moreover, their impact on design decisions is unclear, as they operate mainly as a means for trial-and-error in design. ...
Article
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Resource scarcity and global warming call for ambitious strategies in the construction sector to meet the ever-growing demand for indoor spaces with minimal resource consumption and positive environmental impacts. In line with the need to introduce circular economy in the construction sector, the German Public Sustainability Certification System (BNB) is revising its indicator for disassembly, separation and reuse. The proposed assessment is intended to guide in the planning process and to point out challenges and potentials of the circular economy by making the complex interactions and requirements comprehensible in detail. The continuity of the assessment from the building material to the building component to the entire building allows users to track the impact of changes made at each level of aggregation. Based on extensive background research, end-of-life categories are assigned to building materials according to their reusability, taking into account assembly techniques and adjacent, associated materials. Example building components illustrate the method and show the impact of design changes. At the building level, the quantity determination of materials in the end-of-life condition allows transparent comparison of different design variants and documents in detail the material inventory for use in building material passports. Future developments envision the inclusion of building services in the circularity assessment, benchmarking of circularity at the building level, and integration of circular qualities into life cycle analysis calculations.
... Therefore, the discovery of new alternative materials that are not only naturally grown and harvested, but also produced through developable processes that can be reused in waste streams and have reusability and recyclability at the end of the life cycle becomes important. (Bitting et al.,2022;Heisel & Rau-Oberhuber, 2020). ...
Article
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Due to the adaptability, durability, and affordability of synthetic polymers, their usage has been increasing in the global industry. These petroleum-based polymers remain intact in nature for many years after they expire and cannot be included in the natural recycling network in any way. Producing polymers using fossil resources increasingly day by day threatens existing resources and affects the circular economy negatively. Considering the various negative effects of polymers on the environment, biopolymers could be seen as a strong alternative; which is a polymer group formed by living organisms such as plants, animals, and microorganisms. Ecological, low-emission, and recyclable biopolymers open up new and a broad range of topics in the field. Composite materials created with these biopolymer materials that act as natural adhesives; have different developing areas of applications such as packaging industry, textile, furniture, and industrial design sectors, architectural designs, and structural insulation materials. Fungal mycelium, a biopolymer, consists of fibrous filaments called hyphae, which can be defined as elongated cells, mainly composed of chitin, glucan, and proteins. The ability of fungal mycelium to digest and grow through organic matter makes it possible to produce biocomposites from mycelium. Mycelium-based composites are mixed with fungal mycelium, forming an interpenetrating three-dimensional filamentous network that binds the raw material to the material, and after completing the growth period, the mycelium growth is stopped by heat, thus offering an alternating fabrication paradigm based on the growth of materials. In this study, firstly, it was tried to find the most efficient ratio among different mixing ratios by using the mycelium of the genus Pleurotus Ostreatus and the same raw materials. Afterward, it was aimed to investigate the mechanical and physical properties through experimental studies, especially the production process, of mycelium-based composites formed by mixing different raw materials in determining proportions.
... Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber have adapted the MCI to the construction industry. Via the Madaster Foundation, circular indicators have been developed for the assessment of buildings' circularity during the construction, "in use" and EOL phases (Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber, 2020). More recently, some authors used salvage performance, another assessment approach, defined as "the value of building at a particular time in terms of quantity of structural materials (in tons) that is obtainable when the building is demolished or deconstructed". ...
Article
In the context of shifting the built environment to a circular economy, this paper first provides a meta-synthesis of the literature that clarifies the strategies related to the asset lifecycle in the circular economy (CE) context. The definitions of forty-two approaches, classified into seven categories (A to G) were analysed to identify their differences and similarities using a text mining method. Based on the definitions, approaches’, their needs and requirements, and their benefits and impacts have been listed. Four variables have been identified: the asset phases (V1), the sustainable approaches (V2), the benefits and impacts (V3) and the needs and requirements (V4). As the main contribution to knowledge, two diagrams have been drawn to picture the relationships between, first, V1, V2 and V3 and secondly V1, V2 and V4. An additional contribution is semantic information captured and drawn in a Force Directed Graph (FDG) to clarify the diversity of existing approaches and their relationships. More than a hundred approaches/concepts are staged in a diagram and their links are identified. Particularly the importance of the design phase and its related approaches are developed. The FDG illustrates the complexity of the building projects involving multiple stakeholders. The paper also provides the limitations of the variety of approaches that should be overcome to achieve CE. In particular, the limitations of reuse (components cannot be reused indefinitely) and limitations of design-only approaches (like prefabrication where deconstruction is not prepared). Further research is recommended about the Product Service Systems associated with Extended Producer Responsibility that appears to be key enablers for the CE. Work is also needed to define the circularity of buildings and the associated circularity assessment tools. The outputs could be used to rationalise policies to foster those approaches to enable the construction sector to develop strategies to overcome the current obstacles to the transition to a circular economy.
... As a consequence of its current linear economic model of "produce, use, and discard", the construction industry is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, destruction of natural habitat and production of industrial waste [1,2]. The industry's reliance on a select few non-renewable materials, such as concrete and steel, puts environmental pressure on finite natural resources, which could eventually lead to their permanent depletion [3]. ...
Article
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In an increasing effort to address the environmental challenges caused by the currently linear economic paradigm of “produce, use, and discard”, the construction industry has been shifting towards a more circular model. A circular economy requires closing of the loops, where the end-of-life of a building is considered more carefully, and waste is used as a resource. In comparison to traditional building materials such as timber, steel and concrete, mycelium-based materials are renewable alternatives that use organic agricultural and industrial waste as a key ingredient for production, and do not rely on mass extraction or exploitation of valuable finite or non-finite resources. Mycelium-based materials have shown their potential as a more circular and economically competitive alternative to conventional synthetic materials in numerous industries ranging from packaging, electronic prototyping, furniture, fashion to architecture. However, application of mycelium-based materials in the construction industry has been limited to small-scale prototypes and architectural installations due to low mechanical properties, lack of standardisation in production methods and material characterisation. This paper aims to review the current state of the art in research and applications of mycelium-based materials across disciplines, with a particular focus on digital methods of fabrication, production, and design. The information gathered from this review will be synthesised to identify key challenges in scaling up applications of mycelium-based materials as load-bearing structural elements in architecture and suggest opportunities and directions for future research.
... Several attempts were made to address some of the obstacles described above, particularly for increasing visibility of resources at the end-of-life stage, for reuse or recycling through digital technology (DT), i.e., material passports. These innovations are based on the idea of "buildings as material depots" [12] (or material banks [13]) that consider building stock as a source of raw materials in the future. The EU-funded project BAMB [14] and Madaster Platform [15] were some of the pioneers in developing the concept of material passports. ...
Conference Paper
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This article proposes a conceptual model to address the structural holes in data sharing between (and beyond) actors in the circular built environment supply chain and monitoring circular economy progress. Current digital innovations such as material passports and Building Information Modelling applications aim at increasing quality and availability of information about materials and their application in buildings to facilitate future reuse or recycling, based on the idea of buildings-as-material-banks. Although these approaches offer great potential to recover value from building materials, they mainly focus on a single building and have a limited capacity to exchange data with other supply chain actors in a timely manner. In this article, we argue that there is a need for an integrated digital infrastructure that expands beyond the industries and countries for enabling a connected global circular economy. Therefore, this article proposes an initial conceptualization of a digital infrastructure towards achieving a circular built environment. The proposed model puts forward three interoperable components: The Data Pipeline, Passport Generator, and Passport Pool, based on emerging technologies such as blockchain technology, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.
... If recycling companies had access to this information, they could improve their planning, develop special recycling processes and collect the materials in a targeted manner to further reduce waste disposal. (Heisel & Rau-Oberhuber, 2020). The data is collected on site, merged in the material passport and finally made available via the Madaster platform so that recyclers can find and collect the individual resources. ...
Technical Report
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The European Union is currently making great regulatory efforts to shape digital markets. Yet despite existential pressures from environmental crises, little attention is being paid to sustainability goals. In this paper, we argue that the design of digital markets holds great potential for an environmental transformation of the economy. Therefore, we combine the market design approach with the circular economy concept to highlight the need for new market rules that focus on the environmental governance of data. The focus is on product-related data that can help connect material and product flows and create new collaborative ecosystems. We present a policy framework that includes the specific selection criteria for relevant data sets at each level of the product life cycle. We conclude with concrete suggestions on how sustainable digital market design can be implemented in upcoming EU policy initiatives to increase product transparency and enable systematic digital tracking of goods and materials for a circular economy.
... The principles of circularity for the sustainable design of buildings aim to facilitate the durability of construction materials and building elements to reduce the environmental impact [3]. However, implementing resource efficiency concepts and the circular economy to buildings is not widespread [4,5]. The architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry faces several dilemmas concerning structural resistance, elements longevity, ease of disassembly, flexibility, simplicity of products composition, etc. ...
Article
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There is a global call for a paradigm shift in the construction industry towards carbon neutrality, but a scant effort has been made in practice, especially concerning circularity. This paper helps bridge the gap by introducing a parametric approach to optimize sustainable construction design. The methodology was tested on a newly constructed office building, inspired by circularity principles, in Westerlo, Belgium. The methodology consists of parametric construction-typological analysis, automated through One Click LCA software (Life Cycle Assessment) and Microsoft Excel with 21 alternate designs and 630 iterations. The parametric variations involved three key performance indicators: construction system, materials' environmental impact, and materials; reuse of content. The environmental effects of both construction systems (i.e., structural system, foundation type, materials, and envelope details) and reused building materials content (i.e.,) were evaluated by the parametric analysis for four construction systems scenarios. Environmental impact analysis for timber, steel, concrete, and hybrid construction systems was conducted, following ISO 14040 and CEN/TC 350 standards. The focus of the whole life cycle assessment was mainly on carbon neutrality. Results indicate that using local biosourced materials, including timber, can remarkably reduce buildings' environmental impact. The sensitivity analysis results provide hard evidence that the construction material's weight, materials reuse potential, and construction dismantling ability are the most influential factors in carbon-neutral buildings. This paper should improve profession-als' understanding of the impact of different structural systems choices and inform building designers about the circularity potential, and carbon footprint of construction technologies.
... According to its supporters, implementation of CE in the built environment and particularly in cities calls for rethinking how buildings and urban projects are designed and material flows circulate during project life cycles (EEA 2020). It implies shifting from construction and demolition waste management to exploitation of secondary resources and considering cities and buildings as mines from which it is possible to extract materials (Brunner 2011;Cheshire 2016;Heisel and Rau-Oberhuber 2020). ...
Article
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PurposeThe built environment is a key sector for the transition towards a so-called circular economy, contributing to solve the global environmental challenges humanity is facing. As buildings interact with other sectors like transport and energy, a systemic approach is needed to assess the environmental relevance of circular economy practices. The purpose of this study is to develop and test an approach for the evaluation of overall environmental performance of urban projects.Methods Combining Material Flow Analysis (MFA), the Material Circularity Indicator (MCI), and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) indicators allows for relating means (material recovery) and performance (protection of human health, biodiversity, and resources).Results and discussionThis study shows the ability of LCA to evaluate circular economy practices at the scale of an urban project. It also highlights LCA’s limitations and shows that research is needed to improve resource depletion evaluation and biogenic carbon accounting in eco-design LCA tools. Results show that at the project scale, the MCI, one of the major circular indicators in use today, and MFA provide interesting information complementary to LCA but do not successfully evaluate the environmental performance of circular practices.Conclusions Circularity indicators are complementary to LCA indicators and should not replace them in the eco-design process. Rather than setting circularity targets for a project, it is advisable to set environmental targets so that designers use circularity combined with other means to reach these targets in a systemic way. The choice and implementation of environmentally sound circular actions and strategies are at stake.
... However, the current debate and best practice on single building surveys for demolition or deconstruction tends to be more anecdotal than quantitative, limiting the potential for informed decision making. This aspect is especially surprising, when considering the increasing interest in high-quality datasets and added regulatory requirements on building passports [7] or demolition and deconstruction audits. [8] In an effort to shift the conversations, this paper provides a comparative analysis of suitable survey methods for the anthropogenic mine. ...
Article
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Globally, buildings account for at least 39% of CO 2 emissions and more than 50% of resource extraction and solid waste production. Therefore, any transition to carbon neutral buildings must be paired with new resource sensibilities and a shift from linear models of material consumption to continuous material use within a circular economy. Prospecting the (urban) anthropogenic mine represents an essential step towards circular construction and requires a robust methodology for data collection and interpretation. This paper presents a comparative analysis of survey methods, evaluated by parameters of time, accuracy, equipment, and labor to determine the ability of each tool in providing the necessary data to activate the existing built environment as a material resource. Chosen methods span from on-site manual and analog surveys to off-site digital technologies on a variety of case study scales. In all cases, the output’s data format (sketch book, images, mesh or point cloud outputs) can be cumbersome to process with CAD and BIM software, increasing time to results and limiting the technology’s potential, introducing the call for a new generation of survey tools specifically addressing the needs of deconstruction and salvage in circular construction.
... A similar exclusion criterion is applied for sector-specific c-indicators to ensure broader applicability of the c-indicators recommended in this paper. This is, for instance, the case of ta new version of the Material Circularity Indicator of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, augmented specifically for bio-based and biodegradable products [17], or of the Madaster Circularity Indicator to assess the level of circularity of buildings [18]. ...
Conference Paper
Monitoring the circularity potential of products and materials is key to ensure environmental savings and economic profitability of circular economy loops, such as reuse, remanufacturing, or recycling. The choices and decisions made during the product design phase have a major influence and impact on the circularity performance of products. While numerous indicators and tools have been recently developed to assess, manage, and accelerate the transition to a more circular economy, their application and usability during the early design phases of products are often overlooked. Based on a screening of several tens of circular economy indicators, the present research work identified twelve product-centric circularity indicators, each of them coming with a computational tool, to be deployed during the design process in order to improve the circularity potential of products. To help designers and engineers selecting the appropriate solution, these circularity indicators and tools are positioned on a generic five-step design process, namely: requirements definition, conceptual design, detailed design, designs comparison, product monitoring and communication. Concrete examples are given on how these indicators and their assessment framework can support the design of more circular products. Current shortcomings of available approaches are finally highlighted and discussed (such as the lack of c-indicators for the detailed design phase or linkage with computer-aided design software) for an augmented integration of such promising circularity indicators and their associated tools within the design and development process of products.
... Particularly, applying digital twins for cross-company activities is still very rare, in both industry and academia [14]. The few existing studies look, for example, at data repositories such as cadasters in a limited local context, such as a building site where future reuse of building materials is calculated during the design phase [15], or cover only a particular resource such as Telluride or energy usage [16]. Early proposals for reference frameworks used digital twins for sustainability assessments [17], but these are static estimates and they have not been used for dynamic data exchange along the entire product life cycle. ...
Article
A reliable functioning of supply chains depends on the availability of required raw materials for the manufacturing of products. With increasing scarcity of various raw materials supply chains face serious disruptions. Therefore, recycling comes into stronger focus as a secondary source for raw materials as a solution to ensure supply. This paper explores the compelling case of tires and the challenges to the resilience of its supply chain due to data defects. The role and the value of data to enable resilience in supply chains is highlighted. As main contribution the paper explores potential information technologies such as digital twins and blockchain to avoid the data gaps in the supply chain such that the recycling loop for natural rubber from scrap tires can be completed regardless of the challenges posed by company secrets.
... In the second group, interventions were linked to: (i) the collaboration of the IM value chain actors with a building material cadaster platform-e.g., Madaster-and (ii) the enforcement of an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme. First, the collaboration with Madaster, a relatively recent platform that has gained momentum in the C&D sector in Europe [61], was assessed as very feasible and would allow collecting material data throughout the building's entire lifetime. This would be important for resource and product tracking, recovery, and reuse, thus rendering this intervention very effective, which is linked to the benefits of material passports in general [62,63]. ...
Article
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The limits to linear models of production based on material extraction, manufacture, use, and disposal are becoming increasingly apparent across the global economy. The Circular Economy (CE) describes an alternative to this problematic “take-make-waste” linear model that is concerned with resource efficiency and waste minimization. The construction and demolition sector represents an important focus for a CE transition due to its significant environmental impact. The use of thermal insulation to reduce energy demand associated with heating and cooling in buildings is vital for reducing the sector’s high environmental impact; however, there are significant challenges to recycling thermal insulation materials (IM). This study examines these challenges in the context of Switzerland and evaluates the potential for more circular management of expanded polystyrene and stonewool IM. The research provides an original analysis of the Swiss IM value chain in the context of the CE agenda based on a literature review, semi-structured interviews, and a workshop. Research gaps are highlighted based on scientific literature. The roles and agency of actors involved in the Swiss IM value chain are examined. Enablers of and barriers to wider IM recycling as reported by workshop participants are outlined. Interventions for tackling the current challenges faced for the recycling of thermal IM are suggested. Finally, an agenda for future research is proposed. Throughout the discussion, the importance of the involvement, commitment, and collaboration of stakeholders across the entire IM value chain for an effective and expedient transition to a CE is highlighted.
... Unfortunately, the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is not an exception. It is found to be a significant source of pollution and the largest consumer of natural resources (Benachio et al., 2020;Cottafava & Ritzen, 2020;Heisel & Rau-Oberhuber, 2020). The linear economy model traditionally relies on the "take-make-dispose" principle where raw materials are collected, transformed into products and finally discarded as waste at the end of the products' life, thereby encouraging further resource consumption. ...
Conference Paper
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The construction industry is a significant source of pollution and consumer of natural resources. As the damage to the environment is rapidly growing, the criticism towards the linear economy model is increasing. Circular Economy is perceived as an environmentally friendly alternative. However, Circular Economy implementation in the industry is still in its infancy. Researchers agree that the early design phase plays a significant role in building circularity, but early-stage circularity assessment is not a common practice. Therefore, this paper investigates the technical needs for early circularity assessment and proposes a novel assessment framework relying on Semantic Web and Linked Building Data technologies. A new Building Circularity Assessment Ontology (BCAO) is proposed to structure the scattered heterogenous manufacturer product data needed for the assessment. The ontology and the application framework are evaluated in a use case that reveals the potential in guiding the design decisions to more circular alternatives.
... In other words, this approach breaks the building into several components of pre-mixed materials. When estimated and quantified, it gives an idea of the total stock, reducing or eliminating the need for country-, city-, or building-specific MIC calculations [10,114,[156][157][158][159]. As a result, the units of measurement of MICs frequently differ from one study to the next, depending on the material under investigation, the scope of the study, and the availability of data. ...
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Materials are continuously accumulating in the human-built environment since massive amounts of materials are required for building, developing, and maintaining cities. At the end of their life cycles, these materials are considered valuable sources of secondary materials. The increasing construction and demolition waste released from aging stock each year make up the heaviest, most voluminous waste outflow, presenting challenges and opportunities. These material stocks should be utilized and exploited since the reuse and recycling of construction materials would positively impact the natural environment and resource efficiency, leading to sustainable cities within a grander scheme of a circular economy. The exploitation of material stock is known as urban mining. In order to make these materials accessible for future mining, material quantities need to be estimated and extrapolated to regional levels. This demanding task requires a vast knowledge of the existing building stock, which can only be obtained through labor-intensive, time-consuming methodologies or new technologies, such as building information modeling (BIM), geographic information systems (GISs), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning. This review paper gives a general overview of the literature body and tracks the evolution of this research field.
Thesis
La structuration progressive des activités industrielles à l’échelle mondiale a entraîné dans son sillage une construction de filières de recyclage des matériaux basées sur un retour à l’état de matière pouvant être directement réintroduite dans des chaînes techniques de production standardisées. Cette standardisation garantissant ainsi des objectifs de quantité élevée de recirculation de matière. Cependant, ce processus bien établi soulève des enjeux importants : la transformation rapide jusqu’à l’état matière contribue à dégrader les propriétés, les qualités et les valeurs contenues dans les produits en circulation et requiert d’importantes consommations énergétiques pour les transporter et les transformer. A contre-courant des démarches de standardisation, cette thèse propose de repenser les filières de recirculation des matières de seconde vie par une démarche de création divergente dès les premières étapes de conception, proposant alors à un territoire une diversité de cycles de circulation de matières complémentaires œuvrant en synergie. Ainsi, dans cette thèse des outils opérationnels sont développés au service des entreprises d’un territoire pour permettre le diagnostic de l’état de circulation de leurs matières entrantes et sortantes (en particulier les matières répertoriées comme « déchet »), l’analyse et le développement de nouvelles pistes de circulation de matières à l’aide d’outils d’aide à la créativité et enfin l’évaluation de ces pistes à l’aide d’indicateurs de performance. Les outils développés sont testés dans le cadre d’un cas d’étude relatif à la circulation des livres de seconde vie.
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Ein Wandel weg von der linearen und hin zu einer Kreislaufwirtschaft, wie man ihn bereits in verschiedenen Bereichen erkennen kann, hat positive Auswirkungen auf das Klima und die Umwelt. Die Baubranche könnte durch ihre hohe Ressourcen- und Energieintensität ein wichtiger Beitrag zur Klima- und Umweltschonung durch Kreislaufpraktiken leisten. Im Fokus sollte nicht mehr nur eine effiziente Gebäudehülle stehen, sondern eine ganzheitliche Nachhaltigkeitsbetrachtung. Aufgrund mangelnden Bewusstseins, fehlender rechtlicher Rahmenbedingungen, Organisationen, Softwaretools und fehlender Anreize durch Förderungen oder Geschäftsmodelle kann und wird eine ganzheitliche Kreislaufwirtschaft derzeit noch nicht in der Baubranche umgesetzt. Ein weiterer bedeutsamer Grund sind fehlende Materialpässe und deren Umsetzungsmöglichkeiten in der Praxis. Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, die Lücke zwischen den Anforderungen an Materialpässe und deren Umsetzung in der Praxis, speziell für WeberHaus und somit den Holz-Fertighausbau, frühzeitig zu schließen. Durch Experteninterviews werden der Ist-Zustand des Material- und Informationsflusses beschrieben und gleichzeitig die Themen Kreislaufwirtschaft, Rückverfolgung und Materialpässe mit den Mitarbeitern diskutiert und nähergebracht. Aus dem Ist- Zustand des Material- und Informationsflusses werden Möglichkeiten einer Umsetzung in Form von zwei Varianten für Materialpässe geliefert, welche die zuvor festgelegten Anforderungen erfüllen. Zur Beschreibung des Materialflusses hat es sich als sinnvoll erwiesen, eine Einteilung des gesamten Unternehmens auf Gebäude- und Elementebene vorzunehmen. Der Informationsfluss wird für den Materialpass hauptsächlich durch die vorhandenen Softwaresysteme Bentley, Dietrich´s, SAP und WeKo bestimmt. Um die Anforderungen, die an die Materialpässe gestellt werden, bestmöglich und mit geringem Aufwand erfüllen zu können, stellt sich BIM in Kombination mit der Plattform Madaster als sinnvolles Instrument heraus. Hierzu sind jedoch aufwendige Fachmodelle oder ein Koordinationsmodell nötig, welche von WeberHaus noch nicht vollständig realisiert werden. Als Übergangslösung bietet sich ein Materialpass auf Elementebene an, der durch diese Betrachtung standardisiert und ergänzt werden kann. Eine Ergänzung dieser Variante durch QR-Codes bietet zusätzlich eine direkte Verknüpfung von Informationen mit Bauteilen.
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After natural resources are mined, they are stored in cities in the form of urban minerals through the construction of buildings. However, buildings have many negative impacts on nature from the time they are constructed and used to the end of their life cycles when they are demolished and discarded. At present, many researchers have conducted research on the recycling of buildings, including the whole life cycle of buildings, the value assessment of the construction waste, the recycling boundary of the construction waste, and the way building waste could be reused. These studies all need to discuss the types of construction waste and their total volume. Urban mining uses GIS data (top-down) and the same type of building material per unit area (bottom-up) to provide a broad calculation method for the construction waste, but it fails to accurately obtain the exact amount of each material of the building. From the perspective of architectural design, the same type of buildings tend to have different spaces and structures due to factors such as the site, orientation, and function. These all affect the way construction waste is reused. This paper aims to create a framework for the reuse of construction waste to improve the accuracy and diversity of the reuse of construction waste in the future. The main purpose of this article is to provide a more accurate assessment of the material which is contained in a building. Using a 48-year-old office building in the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Laboratory (TCCLab) as the research case study, the paper compares the data calculated by different methods and verifies the difference between the bottom-up and the disassembly classification method proposed in this study. According to the architectural design principles, the authors first carried out a 3D digital modeling of the office building (including the building structure) using a forward construction sequence and then they proposed the framework of the material classification and the reuse of the reinforced concrete (RC) of the office building using the method of reverse disassembly, hoping to provide a reference for the reuse of construction waste.
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The diffusion of sustainable products is a global objective, particularly reflected by the UN’s vision of ensuring sustainable development. Mobilising the potential of product information’s digitalization is an important topic in this context, particularly in the EU’s circular economy plan CEAP. Cross-sector analyses on the need for digital sustainability recommendation systems and related product-specific requirements do not yet exist. Questions: This article aims to deepen the insight of information requirements and recommendation software to facilitate sustainability-oriented product decisions based on three questions: (1) to identify products specifically requiring four types of sustainability information, (2) to unveil needs for software that recommends sustainable products, and (3) to specify the information it shall provide. Method: As part of the ConCirMy recommendation system project, we conducted an exploratory survey among 134 sustainability experts from 5 circular and bio-economy networks, mainly from Germany. The results show priority products regarding four sustainability information needs and recommendation software, making specific relations between European regulation and stakeholders’ interests visible. In addition, ten factors influencing these needs and facilitating further product-related sustainability classifications were unveiled. Conclusions: Our findings reflect the significance of CEAP’s priority products regarding the need for sustainability information and provide conclusions for four target groups.
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Purpose This study examines how applying innovative I4.0 technologies at the design stage can help reduce construction waste and improve the recovery, reuse, and recycling of construction materials. Design/methodology/approach The study adopts a three-stage sequential mixed methods approach, involving a thorough review of current literature, interviews with six experts in digital construction, and a survey of 75 experienced industry practitioners. Findings The study identifies and discusses how ten specific digital technologies can improve design stage processes leading to improved circularity in construction, namely, (1) additive and robotic manufacturing; (2) artificial intelligence; (3) big data analytics; (4) blockchain technology; (5) building information modelling; (6) digital platforms; (7) digital twins; (8) geographic information systems; (9) material passports and databases; and (10) Internet of things. It demonstrates that by using these technologies to support circular design concepts within the sector, material recycling rates can be improved and unnecessary construction waste reduced. Practical implications This research provides researchers and practitioners with improved understanding of the potential of digital technology to recycle construction waste at the design stage, and may be used to create an implementation roadmap to assist designers in finding tools and identifying them. Originality/value Little consideration has been given to how digital technology can support design stage measures to reduce construction waste. This study fills a gap in knowledge of a fast-moving topic.
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A transition to circular economy (CE) is a sociotechnical phenomenon that relies on adopting innovative methods and technologies, as well as changes in behaviour across the construction supply chain. Although a lot of ground has been covered on developing methods and technologies, there is little research on stakeholders’ change of behaviour. Informed by underlying framework, the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), a comprehensive literature review discusses several conceptual models to establish the interrelationships between barriers and drivers to managing a transition to CE – and their underlying causes. The findings offer a comprehensive point of reference for identifying factors that affect CE adoption, and lay a solid foundation for future research into CE adoption and managing a CE transition where the intermediate theories presented can be validated through empirical research.
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Although the construction sector is one of the least digitized sectors, the last decade has been a period that some qualify as the 4th industrial revolution, notably with the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM). However, the construction industry is still one of the most resource-intensive sectors, generating Megatons of waste every year. To decrease the impact of the construction on the environment, authorities are getting interested in adopting a circular economy (CE) approach, including servitization. Although there is an emulsion around the circular economy approach, organisational tools to help construction practitioners to move to a CE approach are dramatically lacking. The purpose of the paper is to develop a BIM-based trans-scalar theoretical frame work to support practitioners in their understanding and the implementation of the CE approach. The trans-scalar theoretical framework is established with data extracted from a research portfolio fuelled by three main databases, Scopus, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Plan of Work and BIM standards. First, the RIBA framework and the information delivery cycle were adjusted to incorporate the sustainable end-of-life, as a phase in the CE context. Based on theoretical foundations, the main contribution of this paper is the trans-scalar theoretical framework developing and clarifying what are the main asset lifecycle phases (including the end-of-life), their related stakeholders, and the interplays between them, in the UK context. The paper also organizes holistically two scales, the asset lifecycle phases and the material flow, whether new or recovered, in the context of BIM and CE. Some future areas of research are presented, including how the BIM-based trans-scalar theoretical framework could be improved with inputs from construction experts.
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The presented research study tackles the topic of economic and material sustainable development in the built environment and construction industry by introducing and applying the concept and the potential of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) on blockchain within the early stages of the design process via the interface of common design software. We present a digital infrastructure layer for architectural assets and building components that can integrate with AEC supply chains, enabling a more effective and articulated development of circular economies. The infrastructure layer consists of a combination of topology graphs secured with a blockchain. The paper concludes with a discussion about the possibilities of material passports as well as circular economy and smart contracts as an infrastructure for whole lifecycle BIM and digital encapsulation of value in architectural design.
Chapter
This chapter introduces circular economy (CE) as a central part of the rethinking building skins for a sustainable development of the Anthropocene. Successful transition to CE in facades will require new design processes, new construction methods, new systems of logistics and supply chains and new business models. Building skins constitute a complex part of architecture, which affects—and is affected by—a range of disciplines and many different parts of the value chain. Moreover, facades have a relatively limited service life compared with the main structure. It is, therefore, challenging but potentially very important to resolve CE in facades with a view to transitioning from the take–make–waste mindset to one of reduce–reuse–recycle. The chapter describes the challenges and sets out the opportunities for a rethinking of processes made possible by a new mindset and technological progress.
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The ecodesign methodologies in the design stage enable buildings to be adapted to the needs of users and deconstructed at the end-of-life. Although ecodesign methods incorporate circular economy (CE) principles, they are little explored in projects and constructions. This study analyses how the construction sector approaches ecodesign methods to achieve buildings' deconstruction. Through an integrative literature review, 288 articles were threefold analyzed: i) bibliometric, ii) conceptually about ecodesign methods, and iii) categorically. The results showed a lack of understanding about the ecodesign concepts, and an integrated methodology was proposed. The most inclusive and sustainable ecodesign method for buildings deconstruction was Design for Adaptability and Disassembly (DfAD). The review shows the concentration of the studies in three categories and a framework was created relating DfAD strategies. The sector needs more information on ecodesign methods, deconstruction strategies, reusing of materials, and in the life cycle tools as decision support to make sustainable buildings.
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The built environment (BE) is of fundamental importance in the transition towards circular economy (CE), for it concentrates major consuming and polluting human activities. CE in the BE research has rapidly increased in recent years. However, aspects concerning its policy-making and -implementation, governance, and management are acknowledged to be widely over-looked. Such context may jeopardize effective implementation of circular built environments (CBE). In this article, I conduct a systematic literature review to characterize the relation between circular built environments and the policy instruments suggested for its implementation. Results show that only 7% of publications address policy and instruments for CBE implementation. Yet, identified publications seem to cover a wide variety of policy instruments according to prevailing classifications. Finally, operationalized concepts in publications mostly relate to technological aspects of CBE implementation, which calls for increasing research efforts over systemic challenges in governance, and policy integration and coherence.
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The growing scarcity of resources calls for a paradigm shift from linear material consumption to circular economy – especially in the construction industry. This shift involves a complete rethinking of design principles, materials, construction technics and technologies, as well as the introduction of new business models evolving from these reconfigurations within the field. This paper will show on-going research on these themes with a focus on direct material re-use and recycling through the discussion of a prototypology –the recently concluded Mehr.WERT.Pavillon (MWP) at the BUGA 2019 in Heilbronn. The research specifically addresses a reversible, mono-material structure that is made from re-used structural steel and recycled glass. The concept of cycles therefor is significant: Utilized materials are not consumed and disposed of; instead, they are borrowed from their material cycle for a certain period of time and later returned there at equal value and utility. Sourced from recycled materials, the prototypology is a built example of urban mining; designed for disassembly at the end of its service time, it also represents a material bank for future projects – while proofing the claim, that it is possible already today to build within a circular system.
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The article at hand follows the understanding that future cities cannot be built the same way as existing ones, inducing a radical paradigm shift in how we produce and use materials for the construction of our habitat in the 21st century. In search of a methodology for an integrated, holistic, and interdisciplinary development of such new materials and construction technologies, the chair of Sustainable Construction at KIT Karlsruhe proposes the concept of “prototypological” research. Coined through joining the terms “prototype” and “typology”, prototypology represents a full-scale application, that is an experiment and proof in itself to effectively and holistically discover all connected aspects and address unknowns of a specific question, yet at the same time is part of a bigger and systematic test series of such different typologies with similar characteristics, yet varying parameters. The second part of the article applies this method to the research on mycelium-bound building materials, and specifically to the four prototypologies MycoTree, UMAR, Rumah Tambah, and Futurium. The conclusion aims to place the results into the bigger research context, calling for a new type of architectural research.
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In der Wissenschaft seit Jahren bekannt, hat sich das Urban Mining-Konzept zu einem Modewort entwickelt. Es beschreibt die quasi bergmännische Rohstoffgewinnung im urbanen Raum – in der Stadt wie auch in der Kommune. Genauer betrachtet verbergen sich dahinter bislang jedoch häufig nur Konzepte einer erweiterten Siedlungsabfallwirtschaft. Aber im Gegensatz zu dieser mit ihren recht kurzen und damit leicht erfass- und prognostizierbaren Materialumlaufzeiten erfordert eine generationenübergreifende Aufgabe wie Urban Mining weit umfangreichere Instrumente und eine weit vorausschauende Strategie zum Stoffstrommanagement. Das Umweltbundesamt will ein gemeinsames Verständnis zum Urban Mining vermitteln und dazu ermutigen, mit diesem Strategieansatz konsequent voranzuschreiten. https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen/urban-mining-ressourcenschonung-im-anthropozaen
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In 2016, Empa inaugurated NEST ("Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies"), a new type of building that expedites the innovation process by providing a platform where new developments in the built environment can be tested, verified and demonstrated under realistic conditions. One of the units within is the "Urban Mining and Recycling" (UMAR) unit by Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel – a unit that demonstrates how a responsible approach of dealing with natural resources can go hand in hand with an appealing architectural design. The unit is underpinned by the proposition that all the resources required to construct the building must be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable and are therefore part of a circular economy; propositions that can be tested here in a kind of "real-life" laboratory. Empa's Technology & Society Laboratory (TSL) established – in parallel to the integration of this unit into the NEST building – an ecological evaluation of this unit, using the tool of "life cycle assessment" (LCA). Compared to a hypothetical reference unit in same size and standard constructed out of common building materials such as concrete, the UMAR unit shows over its entire life cycle a reduction of the environmental impacts of 18% (for grey energy) to more than 40% (global warming potential).
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The growing elimination of resources calls for a paradigm shift from linear material consumption to circular economy - especially in the construction industry. The residential and research unit Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR) in the modular experimental building NEST of Swiss research institute Empa consequently implements this claim: The design by Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel is constructed from separable, ingrade material resources that are completely reusable, recyclable or compostable. The concept of cycles therefore plays a central role: Utilized materials are not consumed and then disposed of; instead, they are borrowed from their technical or biological cycle for a certain period of time and later returned to these material cycles. Considering its many reclaimed material resources, the apartment is a built example of urban mining. Designed for disassembly at the end of its service time, UMAR also represents a material depot for future projects: Instead of connecting elements and components irreversibly through wet connections such as chemical glues, UMAR uses screws, clamps or interlocking systems in order to recover all used substances ingrade and sorted. UMAR is both temporary material depot and material laboratory – while proving the claim that it is possible already today to build within a circular system.
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The building and construction sector is responsible for more than half of global steel consumption. Recycling is common practice. Yet, this is an energy intensive process, even when using the best currently available technology. A strategy that avoids energy use for remelting and significantly reduces negative environmental impacts is re-use. Steel element re-use is technically feasible and economically attractive in certain cases. However, re-use rates in the UK remain low. Cost and timing are identified to be among the main barriers for re-use across the structural steel value chain. Re-used steel is estimated to be about 8-10% more expensive than new steel, taking into account all required reconditioning processes. This study investigates how data/information services like BAMB Material Passports can facilitate structural steel re-use in the UK by lowering financial barriers. It shows that relevant data has the potential of reducing costs in sourcing, testing, reconditioning and fabrication, ranging from 150-1000 £/t, depending on the re-use path followed (remanufacture or direct re-use of elements/structures). Key stakeholder groups are stockists and fabricators, which will be both the suppliers and customers of the data. It should be noted that data alone is not sufficient to overcome all barriers. Next to shortening or vertical integration of the supply chain, value redistribution across the chain can align incentives of different stakeholders. Regulations and perceptions (on quality) also play a key role. Finally, reversible design/design for dismantling can be a game changer in the transition towards more structural steel re-use, since it can significantly reduce deconstruction costs.
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This paper presents a method and case study to visualize the urban stock of materials and its availability for use in building future cities. Re-using material from existing buildings for new buildings can be seen as a source for construction materials in times of depleting natural resources. The authors explain the concept of "urban mining" and the challenges, such as "How much resources are available in a city? Today? In the near future?" We explore what data are needed to answer the questions, and then discuss how to best visualize the data in an effective and intuitive way. We apply the concept to an exemplary real-world district in Singapore that is in transformation. Then, we discuss features of a visual tool prototype and explain the thinking behind the design, e.g., how the spatial and temporal dimensions can be presented. Lastly, we conclude the paper with an outlook of future challenges. The paper presents a multidisciplinary approach with researchers from computer science, architecture, graphic design and material science, and contributes to the discussion of how to visualize knowledge and plan sustainable future cities.
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Circular building concepts, as proposed within e.g. Circular Economy and Cradle-to-Cradle frameworks, imply radical changes for the construction sector. Cradle-to-Cradle® in particular has put forward the idea of buildings as material banks, radically altering the way material flows need to be managed. The notion of material banks (temporary storage of materials that comprise the building assemblies) sheds new light on the value of building materials and products, and how to maintain and restore this. The basics are straightforward: high quality, pure material use and anticipated material regeneration routes. The implications for the supply and value chain, however, are significant, and research in this direction has only recently taken off. To smoothen the path to implementation, circular building principles may be combined with Design-for-Adaptability (DfA) guidelines, as developed over the last decades. DfA guidelines are rooted in enhanced resilience of the built environment on the one hand, and the associated constructive implications on the other. Synergy between the concepts of circularity and adaptability, with regard to the Dutch context, is at the heart of this paper. The main research question is: what are prerequisites for an effective performance of materials, products, services and buildings in the case circularity is a leading ambition? The research is structured around four interdisciplinary expert workshops in which knowledge and experiences were shared, discussed, tested and redefined, leading to a set of preconditions for circular building material and product flows. A key finding is that circularity-values emerge at the intersection of specific intrinsic properties (material and product characteristics) and relational properties (building design and use characteristics), whilst combining multiple parameters. In separation, neither intrinsic nor relational properties have decisive significance with regard to circularity; it is on the crossing where fulfillment is created. This paper finishes by discussing the findings from the perspectives of lifespan, monitoring, ownership, and standardization.
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”Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover“ is the sustainable guideline that has replaced the ”Take, Make, Waste“ attitude of the industrial age. Based on their background at the ETH Zurich and the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, the authors provide both a conceptual and practical look into materials and products which use waste as a renewable resource. This book introduces an inventory of current projects and building elements, ranging from marketed products, among them façade panels made of straw and self-healing concrete, to advanced research and development like newspaper, wood or jeans denim used as isolating fibres. Going beyond the mere recycling aspect of reused materials, it looks into innovative concepts of how materials usually regarded as waste can be processed into new construction elements. The products are organized along the manufacturing processes: densified, reconfigured, transformed, designed and cultivated materials. A product directory presents all materials and projects in this book according to their functional uses in construction: load-bearing, self-supporting, insulating, waterproofing and finishing products.
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Sumario: Introduction -- Analysis: Two case studies and their national context -- Syntesis: Feasibility of the substitution of labor for energy -- Appendix I: The European Community and its institutions -- Appendix II: What is the French "Plan"? -- Bibliography
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Building stocks and infrastructures are representing the largest material stock of industrial economies, whereby the largest fraction of building materials is transformed into waste at the end of the life cycle. In order to optimize the recycling potential of buildings, new design-tools and methods are required, whereby it is of utmost importance to have a documentation of the material composition of buildings. In this paper, the methodology for creating a BIM-based Material Passport, enabling optimization of the design of buildings and serving as a documentation of materials existing in buildings, is described. Therefore, a specific building component - the flat roof - of a residential building is used in order to test the proposed tool-chain and show the recycling potential of the built-in materials. Thereby, the recycling potential of a version in timber construction and a version in concrete construction is assessed. The results show that the two versions have a similar recycling rate. However, concrete has a significantly higher mass in comparison to timber, by what the mass of the total waste materials is less in the timber version.
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Implementing circular economy (CE) principles is increasingly recommended as a convenient solution to meet the goals of sustainable development. New tools are required to support practitioners, decision-makers and policy-makers towards more CE practices, as well as to monitor the effects of CE adoption. Worldwide, academics, industrialists and politicians all agree on the need to use CE-related measuring instruments to manage this transition at different systemic levels. In this context, a wide range of circularity indicators (C-indicators) has been developed in recent years. Yet, as there is not one single definition of the CE concept, it is of the utmost importance to know what the available indicators measure in order to use them properly. Indeed, through a systematic literature review – considering both academic and grey literature – 55 sets of C-indicators, developed by scholars, consulting companies and governmental agencies, have been identified, encompassing different purposes, scopes, and potential usages. Inspired by existing taxonomies of eco-design tools and sustainability indicators, and in line with the CE characteristics, a classification of indicators aiming to assess, improve, monitor and communicate on the CE performance is proposed and discussed. In the developed taxonomy including 10 categories, C-indicators are differentiated regarding criteria such as the levels of CE implementation (e.g. micro, meso, macro), the CE loops (maintain, reuse, remanufacture, recycle), the performance (intrinsic, impacts), the perspective of circularity (actual, potential) they are taking into account, or their degree of transversality (generic, sector-specific). In addition, the database inventorying the 55 sets of C-indicators is linked to an Excel-based query tool to facilitate the selection of appropriate indicators according to the specific user’s needs and requirements. This study enriches the literature by giving a first need-driven taxonomy of C-indicators, which is experienced on several use cases. It provides a synthesis and clarification to the emerging and must-needed research theme of C-indicators, and sheds some light on remaining key challenges like their effective uptake by industry. Eventually, limitations, improvement areas, as well as implications of the proposed taxonomy are intently addressed to guide future research on C-indicators and CE implementation.
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The potential of urban mining is getting greater. From the global view, the potential of urban mining, namely the estimated amount of on-surface stock which has been mine form the geo-sphere into the techno-sphere, is comparative to natural resource which is still in geo-sphere as underground stock. However, practical recycling of metals are still in the stage of developing, and depending on the country. As an example, ultimate potential of urban mine in Japan was estimated. The differences between input of each metal contents and output of it were considered to be accumulated. I/O method was combined to estimate the metal contents in exported products. Japan, which is considered a typical exporter of materials, has great potential of urban mining which comes from domestic demand of products. However, real activity of development of urban mine, namely recycling, is not so effective, especially for minor metals which sometime called rare metals from the viewpoint of the importance in industries. We need to develop the technology and system for urban mining, just now.
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A functional economy, as defined in this paper, is one that optimizes the use (or function) of goods and services and thus the management of existing wealth (goods. knowledge, and nature). The economic objective of the functional economy is to create the highest possible use value for the longest possible time while consuming as few material resources and energy as possible. This functional economy is therefore considerably more sustainable, or dematerialized, than the present economy, which is focused on production and related material flows as its principal means to create wealth. One aim of this paper is to sketch out a functional economy. The other is to show the social, cultural, and organizational change that may arise in shifting from a productionoriented economy toward a functional or service-oriented economy.
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