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Benachio, G L F, Freitas, M d C D and Tavares, S F (2021) Interactions between Lean Construction Principles and Circular Economy Practices for the Construction Industry. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 147(07).

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Circular economy; Lean construction; Construction industry; Built environment; Sustainable construction; Reversible building design;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0002082
  • Abstract:
    With the recurrent challenge of scarcity of resources in the world, the construction industry has been giving more attention to sustainability over the last decades, given that this industry is responsible for a big percentage of waste generated daily as well as a large amount of natural resources extraction. This high use of natural resources happens because the construction industry still uses the linear economy of “take-use-dispose,” which disposes a high amount of material in the end-of-life stage of a building. Opposed to that traditional process, the circular economy (CE) looks to better manage the building materials and consider them as valuable resources after the end-of-life of a building, reducing the amount of waste created. Similarly, the concept of lean construction (LC) looks to improve the value of the building, reducing waste, and improving productivity in construction, and has been studied since the nineties. Their synergies make their combination likely to bring benefits for the construction industry; however, this blend of concepts has not been extensively studied in the built environment, making it interesting to investigate it. The objective of this research was to find the interactions, positive or not, between the CE practices and the LC principles, using the method of content analysis to create a matrix of relationships that found a total of 74 interactions, 70 positive and 4 negatives. From these interactions, the LC principle of “reducing the share of non-value-adding activities” had the biggest number of interactions with CE practices, the practice of “off-site construction” had the biggest number of interactions with LC principles, and the construction stage was the life cycle phase that averaged the biggest number of interactions. Finally, it was possible to identify an optimal project sequence that took use of the CE practices that had the most LC principles incorporated into them.