A systematic literature review on Circular Economy implementation in the construction industry: a policy-making perspective

Yifei Yu*, Veronica Junjan, Devrim Murat Yazan, Maria Eugenia Iacob

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
531 Downloads (Pure)


Implementing Circular Economy (CE) is a promising solution to tackle environmental challenges in the construction industry. On the way towards a circular built environment, governmental policy support is viewed as an important enabler. However, most existing policies are insufficient to address complex CE challenges and there are substantial knowledge gaps in understanding CE policy-making from a systemic perspective in the construction industry. This literature review investigates construction CE based on the five-stage policy cycle developed in the domain of public policy. Our main finding is that there is a lack of integrated policy-making frameworks to manage construction projects based on CE. The five-stage-policy model is not widely recognized by scientific communities or industrial practitioners to understand CE policy-making as a dynamic, interactive, and iterative cycle. Therefore, we propose an integrated CE policy-making cycle based on the explicit alignment between the state-of-the-art and the classical policy model. Furthermore, the lack of policy integration is considered as one of the critical research gaps and we propose a bi-directional policy-making mechanism to conceptualize the integrated processes of policy implementation and evaluation. The proposed frameworks address current knowledge gaps and serve as theoretical guidelines for public and private actors to understand more complex CE policy-making in the reality. Finally, we encourage interdisciplinary research to enhance integrated CE policy-making in the construction industry by 1) exploring the synergistic effect of CE policy packages on the construction life cycle, and 2) creating a streamlined, transparent, and collaborative policy-making environment based on Information & Communication Technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106359
JournalResources, conservation and recycling
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Circular economy
  • Construction industry
  • Policy cycle
  • Public policy
  • Systematic literature review
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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