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A New Circular Economy Framework for construction projects

Medina, E. M. and Fu, F. ORCID: 0000-0002-9176-8159 (2021). A New Circular Economy Framework for construction projects. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering Sustainability,


Circular Economy (CE) is a holistic, viable solution to the linear model’s ‘take-make-dispose’ system which enhances economic growth without threatening environmental and social value. Its principles are based on product optimisation, waste elimination, and regeneration of natural systems. In this paper, a pilot study evaluates the feasibility of implementing CE in construction projects, followed by the development of a new framework with strategies to alter current construction activities for greater circularity. To demonstrate the benefits of implementing a CE model, a critical assessment of its impacts in industry was made which considers costing, environmental impacts, and legislative action. A new comprehensive CE framework was developed which details a set of indicators, action plans and resources allocated to assess the performance of the strategy implementation, specifically designed for building cycles. To address the challenge of monitoring progress on the transition towards circularity, quantitative tools using a life cycle approach were developed in this study including an embodied carbon emissions calculator and databases for waste and circularity indexing of common construction materials. The framework, accompanied by these tools, were applied to a construction case study to verify its feasibility in combining scientific and policy making guidelines. Good practice recommendations were also offered, based on the qualitative research undertaken, to further enrich the study

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Circular Economy, life cycle, construction project, waste and circularity indexing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Engineering > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2021 13:34
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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