Digital technology use cases for deconstruction and reverse logistics

Marc Casper van den Berg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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The transition towards a circular built environment challenges dismantling firms to revisit their practices. These firms traditionally demolish buildings with crushing force, essentially creating poorly recyclable waste. This practice leads to a loss of economic value and has several negative social and environmental consequences. Deconstruction, defined as construction in reverse, represents an alternative practice in which as many materials are recovered as possible. Deconstruction is particularly challenging because responsible firms need to process more information to organise various reverse logistics options efficiently. This chapter, therefore, reviews reverse supply chain practices in construction and illustrates how digital technologies could support dismantling firms and their partners during essential deconstruction activities. Through evidence-based insights and examples from practice, the chapter presents a state-of-the-art overview of digital deconstruction technology use cases for identifying, harvesting, and distributing reusable building elements. It shows that digital technologies have been developed for separate deconstruction activities but are rarely used in an integrated manner. Further integration through aligning the digital technologies with practitioners’ information needs will, accordingly, unlock new opportunities for closed-loop material flows.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Circular Built Environment in the Digital Age
EditorsCatherine De Wolf, Sultan Çetin, Nancy M.P. Bocken
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-39675-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-39674-8
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameCircular Economy and Sustainability


  • Circular economy
  • Deconstruction
  • Digital technologies
  • Information needs
  • Reuse


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