A Circular Economy

Viewing a building as circular considers every stage of its lifespan; from its conception and design, through its operation until its disassembly. As we continue to use more and more natural resources, we need to move away from a linear model of construction which ultimately ends in demolition and a disregard for the waste that remains.

So how can we think of building as circular?

Design: Identify specific design strategies from the outset that allow for disassembly and reuse at the end of the building’s life. Don’t design spaces that are so prescriptive that they lose the ability to be flexible and adapt as users needs change over time.

Sourcing: Source materials sustainably and understand their ‘cradle to cradle’ lifecycle.

Construction: Focus on the ability to pre-fabricate to avoid unnecessary materials wastage. 

Operation: The building should be designed and operated using passive design principles. Good ability for cross-flow ventilation, insulation and shading structures all form part of this strategy.

Renewal: Encourage the revitalization and renovation of buildings to make them fit for purpose over time, before deciding to demolish.

Disassembly and Repurpose: Reuse and take apart the building in such a way that does not destroy materials and building components that could be reused.

Are you designing with circular design principles in mind?