Every year, the building sector consumes up to 42 billion tonnes of resource materials to build homes, workplaces, schools and other structures and sends another 1-2 billion tonnes of waste - one-third of the global total - to landfills.
As important as infrastructure is, the building sector has a heavy impact on the planet that needs to be reduced. One concept gaining more attention is circularity.
Growth without waste
The idea of a circular construction sector is built on an economic model that aims to use products for as long as possible and reduce waste — via re-use and recycling — while boosting social, economic growth and prosperity.
Across Europe, architects consider the re-use of materials by other users and the recycling of waste the primary qualities of a circular construction economy. One third of them even expect to achieve a fully circular construction economy by 2030.
Converting that expectation into action on the job is proving difficult so far, since circularity is only taken into account in 22 percent of architectural projects. Moreover, the majority of project owners, including governments have yet to even make requests for circular construction from architects.