Circularity in the built environment: A call for a paradigm shift

Tove Malmqvist, Alice Moncaster, Freja Nygaard Rasmussen, Harpa Birgisdottir

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This chapter considers how circularity is being, and might be, approached and achieved within the built environment. Three case studies illustrate the current situation. The first case address life cycle assessment (LCA) in measuring circularity, showing that while LCA encourages recycling it gives little support to Design for Disassembly. The second considers how multiple decision support tools can act to limit early design input by end users, and therefore limit the long-term sustainability of the building. The third demonstrates the importance of incorporating the needs of users and owners in the management of existing commercial buildings. While therefore circular economy principles are enacted to an extent at present, social needs are seldom adequately considered. This analysis is used to propose a new dynamic framework for a circular built environment, redefined as the outcome of an iterative process to provide for our human needs using the least resources.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Circular Economy
EditorsMiguel Brandão, David Lazarevic, Göran Finnveden
Number of pages14
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication date10 Dec 2020
ISBN (Print)9781788972710
ISBN (Electronic)9781788972727
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020

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