Circular economy construction: lessons from applied experimentation

  • YEAR
    Finch, Gerard
    Marriage, Guy
    Gjerde, M.
    Pelosi, Antony
    2018 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science, Construction and Technology
    Conference Papers


The Circular Economy (CE) poses an immense challenge to the construction sector. For the first time in the history of modern construction key stakeholders are required to consider the end-of-life pathway for building components and materials. CE principles essentially necessitate that any material is productive and without the potential to contaminate in all stages of its life-cycles. These conditions disrupt established construction methods that we have relied on to fix
materials together and achieve a water-tight building envelope. This paper reports on an ongoing research project that is working to design and deliver CE building solutions. The initial phase of this study has focused on re-designing light timber framed buildings for optimal resource recovery and material reuse. Through design-led research experimentation a range of recoverable structural frames, cladding and wall lining solutions have been built and tested. The experiments have culminated in the identification of a series of key lessons and challenges the industry will face as it attempts to move towards a CE. This paper outlines what problems occur, why, and how they might be resolved through design.


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