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Stakeholders’ perception of circular economy in construction

ICATALIST, a member of the RECONMATIC consortium, has been collaborating with the CircularB COST Action’s partners to understand the stakeholders’ views on circularity in the construction sector. This exploration is reflected in an article titled "Cultivating Sustainable Construction: Stakeholder Insights Driving Circular Economy Innovation for Inclusive Resource Equity". This collaborative study will be presented at the next CESARE’24 Conference. CESARE'24 is the 4th International Conference on “Coordinating engineering for sustainability and resilience” joined with the midterm Conference of CircularB, titled “Implementation of circular economy in the built environment”. It will be held in Timisoara, Romania, on 29-31 May 2024.

This research delves into the significance and acceptance of circular economy principles within the construction industry. The focus is on stakeholders' perspectives regarding key circular economy strategies throughout different stages of the building life cycle. The analysis is based on the insights of European stakeholders who took part in CircularB Workshop 1 - Part 2, titled "Creating a Roadmap towards Circularity in the Built Environment - State-of-the-Art". The study is divided into two parts. The initial segment employs a structured survey to gather opinions on the adoption and importance of specific CE implementation strategies in the construction sector. In the second part, stakeholders participate in a creative thinking activity, responding to seven proposed questions and providing diverse answers for each query.


This guided activity was conducted by ICATALIST using Mentimeter and the Six Thinking Hats methodology. Such an interactive approach allowed us to explore stakeholders' different viewpoints and perceptions in a structured and comprehensive manner, helping to understand their positions on key questions related to the circular economy strategy in construction. The combination of technology and structured thinking offered a holistic view of stakeholder opinions, enriching the analysis and contributing to the robustness of the findings.


This paper is guided by several key objectives, aiming to ascertain the current state of awareness, acceptance, and understanding of circular economy principles among the construction stakeholders who participated in the event. Overall, the research underscores the importance of systemic barriers in CE, product design for disassembly, and the efficient production of reusable and recyclable materials. It also underscores the necessity to actively engage industry stakeholders in transitioning to a CE, bridging the gap between theory and practice, and increasing the involvement of policymakers and governments.


The comprehensive results of this collaborative effort will be unveiled early next year, and we eagerly anticipate the opportunity to share our insights with the construction community and the broader public. This research will contribute to the ongoing discourse on sustainable construction practices and, we hope, inspire meaningful change and progress in the industry.


Learn more on CircularB Cost Action project


The CircularB Action has a common ground with RECONMATIC, as it aims to establish an international circularity framework for inclusive application and assessment in new and existing buildings. It seeks to support decision-making for all stakeholders in the value chain and to evaluate the implementation level of the European Circular Economy Action Plan.

 

Its expected outcome is to develop a tool, based on this international framework, which includes a circularity rating with Key Performance Indicators that can be applied to different contexts. To enable direct utilisation of this tool, a benchmark database tailored to each country/region's unique conditions, culture, and traditions will be developed. Thus, it will benefit designers in creating sustainable buildings and will assist national/local governments in evaluating and promoting their Circular Economy targets.


Stay tuned for more news on our collaboration in the framework of the Circular Construction Cluster in other fields like the search for key performance indicators on circularity.


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