Circular Economy or Circular Construction? How circularity is understood by construction practitioners

Tom B.J. Coenen*, Klaasjan Visscher, Leentje Volker

*Corresponding author for this work

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The increasing popularity of the Circular Economy (CE) concept in construction has come with a myriad of publications and solutions that aim to contribute to the transition. However, CE is still debated and the interpretations and framings in practice seem to be equivocal. In this study we developed two models: one to map the societal challenges that are addressed by CE and one to map the solutions. Here, we take the interpretations of practitioners as a basis to define CE in the Dutch construction context by means of 20 semi-structured interviews. Results revealed that there is a wide variety of societal challenges addressed by CE. Circular solutions in the current construction industry turn out to be highly asset and material specific. However, there seems to be a shared understanding of the solution strategies that contribute to becoming circular. Nevertheless, this collection of solution strategies does only partly address the main challenges mentioned. The results imply that a better alignment between problems and solutions is necessary to address CE. Therefore, we urge for context-specific considerations of CE and for distinguishing
between CE and circular construction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 38th annual ARCOM conference
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9955463-6-3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event38th Annual ARCOM Conference 2022: Building Back Wiser - Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sept 20227 Sept 2022
Conference number: 38


Conference38th Annual ARCOM Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleARCOM
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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