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Abadi, M and Sammuneh, M A (2020) Integrating Circular Economy and Constructability Research: An Initial Development of a Lifecycle "Circularity" Assessment Framework and Indicators. In: Scott, L and Neilson, C J (Eds.), Proceedings 36th Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-8 September 2020, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 516-525.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: Circular Economy CE, Lifecycle "Circularity" Assessment Framework LCAF, Circularity Indicators CIs, Constructability, Sustainable Development
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9955463-3-2
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/93216f280be650ae8a7cfe95331a1e05.pdf
  • Abstract:

    The Circular Economy (CE) paradigm is attracting more interest in the "constructability" literature, with no much attention paid to the project-based nature of the construction process. Hitherto, no complete framework is available to assess "circularity" of the entire construction project lifecycle. This paper adopts a collective approach to evaluate the overall conformity of construction practices to bundles of CE concepts grouped in themes relevant to different stages of a project lifecycle, rather than tracking their casual links with individual CE concepts. A framework with five themes and twelve circularity indicators was developed to assess circularity of construction practices in general. Themes include: 1) design for circularity, 2) reduced construction impact, 3) sustainable utilisation & maintenance, 4) construction and demolition (C&D) waste management, and 5) business models, education, and CE data management. Consequently a systematic review of 57 articles was conducted to assess compliance of “constructability” practices, as reported in the literature, with CE concepts using the proposed framework. Firstly, results reveal a weak association between CE and "constructability" despite the well-established literature on both topics. However, an increasing interest in CE concepts has recently been detected in "constructability" literature. Secondly, the design stage plays a key role in maximising future circularity throughout the project lifecycle; however, the current literature provides no evidence to embedding the use of recycled materials in design practices. Thirdly, C&D waste management is attracting an increasing attention in the literature while the environmental impact of buildings during the operation stage remains an area for further research. Fourthly, the literature identifies opportunities for better "constructability" practices through improved CE management, including: CE data management, improved collaboration, and new business models. The proposed framework can be extended for rating/evaluating "circularity" of construction firms and projects to identify areas of good practice and areas for improvement and further research.