The development of an evaluation method to support circular building design

Pieter Robert Beurskens

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

362 Downloads (Pure)


The conventional way of construction has become a burden to the dynamic society of the 21st century. Buildings are commonly designed with a disregard to the end-of-first-life, leading to the loss of almost all applied energy and labour and materials at the end-of-life, contributing greatly to the generation of waste. Therefore, the aim of this research is to support the transition from the current linear ‘take-make-dispose’ pattern to a so-called circular construction industry, an industry that is based on the principles of a circular economy. To achieve this goal it is considered essential to understand how the reuse potential of buildings can be increased. Therefore, the goals of this research is the development of an assessment method to evaluate the reuse potential of buildings and building products. The aim of this method is to supports designers in making informed design-decisions to increase the reuse potential of buildings and building products, and allow decision makers to set reuse potential targets to enhance the transition towards a circular construction industry.

In chapter two, the background and scope of the research are defined, in which key concepts are explored, to define circular building design and develop a reuse design typology to provide a better understanding of reuse design methods and categorisation for reuse strategies. In chapter three, the main factors that influence the decision making whether or not a building product will be reused are studied from an environmental, social, organisational, compliance and legislation, technical and economical perspective. These factors are then used to develop a conceptual reuse potential framework. In chapter four, the key design for disassembly and reuse strategies have been synthesized to provide an overview of the key strategies to support reuse of building products. In chapter five, the reuse potential evaluation method is proposed, which has been tested in chapter six using a critical retrospective case study approach. The insights that have been described and the reuse potential evaluation method that has been proposed hopefully contribute to the transition towards a circular construction industry.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • van Dongen, Leo A.M., Supervisor
  • Halman, Johannes I.M., Supervisor
  • Durmisevic, E., Co-Supervisor
Award date9 Sept 2021
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5204-2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2021


  • Circular economy
  • Circular building design
  • Design for disassembly and reuse
  • Reuse potential
  • Design for Reuse
  • Design structure matrix


Dive into the research topics of 'The development of an evaluation method to support circular building design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this