1st Edition

Building Revolutions Applying the Circular Economy to the Built Environment

By David Cheshire Copyright 2019
    128 Pages
    by RIBA Publishing

    The construction industry operates within a linear economy of make, use, dispose. Buildings are stripped out and torn down with astonishing regularity while new buildings are constructed from hard-won virgin materials. But raw materials are becoming scarce, and the demands for them are exploiting fragile ecosystems, even as the global demand for resources continues to rise.

    Policy makers and organisations are beginning to look for a more regenerative, circular economy model. The construction industry demands over half the world’s extracted materials and generates around a third of the total waste generated in the EU, making it a prime candidate for applying the circular economy. Yet there has been little focus on how construction industry professionals and their clients can contribute towards the movement.

    Drawing on illustrative methods and examples, Building Revolutions explains how the principles of a circular economy can be applied to the built environment where resources are kept in use and their value retained.

    1. Introduction: Circular Thinking  2. What is a Circular Economy?  3. Why a Circular Economy?  4. Starting at the End  5. Circular Economy Principles for Buildings  6. Build to Last?  7. Building in Layers  8. Designing out Waste  9. Designing for Adaptability  10. Design for Disassembly and Reuse  11. Selecting Materials and Products  12. Turning Waste into a Resource  13. Circular Business Models  14. Conclusion: Virtuous Circles


    David Cheshire is a Regional Director at AECOM, specialising in sustainability in the built environment. David has over twenty years’ experience acting as a sustainability champion on construction projects and has written best practice industry guidance including CIBSE’s Sustainability Guide.