Development of a bridge circularity assessment framework to promote resource efficiency in infrastructure projects

Tom B.J. Coenen, João Santos*, Sonja A.A.M. Fennis, Johannes I. M. Halman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
150 Downloads (Pure)


Given the predominant use of virgin materials and the creation of vast amounts ofwaste in the construction sector, increasing its resource efficiency could result in alarge improvement in overall use of resources. Bridges are a logical target for increas-ing resource efficiency, not only because of the large amount of materials involved butespecially because a considerable number of bridges are demolished because of chang-ing functional demands rather than technical failure. Furthermore, climate changeincreases future uncertainty and the likelihood of functionally motivated demolitions,which potentially exacerbates the creation of waste. Currently, it is not possible tomeasure and quantify the resource efficiency of bridge designs. In this study, a frame-work is presented that combines four indicators based o n the principles of the CircularEconomy. The four indicators are: (1) Design Input,(2)Resource Availability,(3)Adapt-ability, and (4) Reusability. Each indicator is further broken down into multiple sub-indicators. To test the usefulness of the proposed framework, it was applied to two real-world Dutch case studies. In addition, uncertainty and sensitivity analyses were con-ducted to determine the robustness of the indicator to changes in the design parame-ters and the weighting method used. Validation of the framework has shown that thisbridge-specific circularity indicator is useful for determining the level of resource effi-ciency in terms of material use. This will allow clients to use resource efficiency, orcircularity, as a selection criterion in the procurement process. This article met therequirements for a gold—gold JIE data openness badge described at
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-304
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of industrial ecology
Issue number2
Early online date7 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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