Evaluating reuse conditions during a circular demolition project: An ethnographic study

Lars Hulsbeek*, Marc Casper van den Berg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Reuse of building elements is necessary to achieve a circular construction industry. This means that demolition contractors get another role: these firms should recover elements instead of destructing them. Previous research revealed a proposition with three conditions which must be all satisfied for a demolition contractor to recover elements for reuse: identify economic demand, distinguish disassembly routines, and control future performance. This research extends that work by evaluating whether it accurately predicts reuse decisions in another context. An ethnographic research method was adopted in which 300 hours of active participant observations were conducted during a circular demolition project. It appears that the proposition could account for the recovery of most building elements: some elements were destructed due to poor project preparation and time constraints. A new 'auction company' mechanism was used for identifying an economic demand. These insights sharpen the previous proposition and offer new opportunities for closed-loop material flows.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationARCOM 2022 Conference
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 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


  • Circular Economy
  • Demolition
  • Ethnography
  • Recovery
  • Reuse


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