As the global population continues to grow and urbanization increases, the demand for housing is expected to rise in the coming years. However, the traditional linear model of housing development, which relies on a take-make-dispose approach, is not sustainable in the long run. The Circular Economy (CE) model, which aims to reduce waste and promote resource efficiency, offers a new perspective for the design and planning of housing settlements.
We will explore the role of CE in the design and planning of housing settlements and the benefits it can offer.
- Reducing Waste and Emissions The CE model focuses on reducing waste and emissions by keeping resources in use for as long as possible. This can be achieved through strategies such as recycling and reusing building materials, incorporating renewable energy sources, and promoting energy-efficient design. By reducing waste and emissions, housing settlements can contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment.
- Encouraging Local Production and Consumption CE also emphasizes the importance of local production and consumption. By sourcing building materials and products locally, housing settlements can reduce their carbon footprint and support local economies. This approach can also create new job opportunities and help communities become more self-sufficient.
- Designing for Flexibility and Adaptability The CE model also encourages flexibility and adaptability in the design of housing settlements. By designing for reuse and adaptability, housing settlements can be easily modified to meet changing needs and demands. This approach can also reduce the need for new construction and materials, which can help minimize waste and emissions.
- Promoting Collaboration and Innovation Finally, the CE model emphasizes collaboration and innovation. By working together, stakeholders in the housing sector can identify new opportunities and solutions for reducing waste and promoting resource efficiency. This can lead to the development of new technologies and business models that support circular practices in the housing sector.
- Circular economy
- Sustainable design
- Green building
- Housing settlements
- Resource efficiency
- Waste reduction
- Renewable energy
- Life cycle thinking
- Material reuse
Here are some recent developments on the role of circular economy in the design and planning of housing settlements:
- The EU Circular Economy Action Plan: In March 2020, the European Commission released an updated Circular Economy Action Plan, which includes initiatives aimed at promoting circular practices in the building and construction sector. This includes measures to improve the durability, reparability, and recyclability of buildings, as well as promoting the use of recycled materials and reducing waste.
- The Circular Building Assessment Framework (CBAF): The CBAF is a tool developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that aims to provide a standardized approach to assessing the circularity of buildings. The framework assesses buildings based on criteria such as material use, energy efficiency, and adaptability.
- The Circular Homes project: The Circular Homes project is a collaboration between a Dutch housing corporation and a design and engineering firm, which aims to create circular homes that can be easily adapted to changing needs and demands. The homes are designed to be easily disassembled and reassembled, using materials that can be recycled or reused.
- The Zero Waste Scotland Circular Economy Route Map for the Built Environment: In 2018, Zero Waste Scotland released a Circular Economy Route Map for the Built Environment, which provides guidance on implementing circular practices in the design and construction of buildings. The Route Map includes recommendations on reducing waste, using sustainable materials, and promoting circular business models.
- The New European Bauhaus initiative: The New European Bauhaus initiative was launched in January 2021 as part of the European Green Deal. The initiative aims to promote the integration of sustainability, aesthetics, and inclusivity in the design of buildings and urban spaces, with a focus on circular practices and the use of natural materials.
These recent developments demonstrate the growing recognition of the role of circular economy in the design and planning of housing settlements. By promoting circular practices in the building and construction sector, we can create more sustainable, resilient, and adaptable communities that are better equipped to meet the challenges of the future.
Here are some case studies on the role of circular economy in the design and planning of housing settlements:
- Circl in Amsterdam, Netherlands: Circl is a circular building located in Amsterdam, which serves as a hub for sustainable and circular practices. The building was designed using circular principles and incorporates features such as a green roof, a rainwater collection system, and the use of recycled and renewable materials. Circl also serves as a space for workshops and events focused on circular economy and sustainability.
- Lendager Group’s Resource Rows in Copenhagen, Denmark: Resource Rows is a housing development in Copenhagen, which was designed by the Lendager Group using circular principles. The development includes features such as a green facade made of recycled wood and a rainwater harvesting system. The buildings were also designed to be easily disassembled and the materials reused at the end of their life.
- Villa Welpeloo in Enschede, Netherlands: Villa Welpeloo is a circular house designed by the Rezone group, which uses a variety of circular practices. The house was built using recycled materials, and includes features such as a green roof, a rainwater collection system, and solar panels. The house was also designed to be easily disassembled, with the goal of reusing or recycling the materials at the end of its life.
- The Waste House in Brighton, UK: The Waste House is a building located in Brighton, which was constructed using waste materials that would have otherwise been sent to landfill. The building includes features such as recycled carpet tiles, insulation made from recycled denim, and reclaimed wood. The Waste House serves as a space for research and education on circular economy and sustainability.
- The Hestia Housing and Support project in London, UK: The Hestia Housing and Support project is a housing development in London, which was designed using circular principles. The development includes features such as a green roof, a rainwater harvesting system, and the use of recycled and renewable materials. The development was also designed to be adaptable and easily modified to meet the changing needs of residents.
These case studies demonstrate the potential of circular economy in the design and planning of housing settlements. By incorporating circular practices into housing development, we can create more efficient, sustainable, and adaptable communities that are better equipped to meet the challenges of the future.
In conclusion, the CE model offers a new approach to the design and planning of housing settlements that can help promote sustainability and reduce waste and emissions. By incorporating circular practices into housing development, we can create more efficient and resilient communities that are better equipped to meet the challenges of the future.
Here are some references on the role of circular economy in the design and planning of housing settlements:
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation. (2016). Cities and the Circular Economy for Food.
- Ghisellini, P., Cialani, C., & Ulgiati, S. (2016). A review on circular economy: the expected transition to a balanced interplay of environmental and economic systems. Journal of Cleaner Production, 114, 11-32.
- Bocken, N. M. P., Bakker, C., & Pauw, I. (2016). Product design and business model strategies for a circular economy. Journal of Industrial and Production Engineering, 33(5), 308-320.
- European Commission. (2020). Circular Economy Action Plan.
- Chiu, A. S. F., & Li, Z. (2020). Towards a circular economy in the built environment: a review on policies, strategies and implementation. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 153, 104547.
- Duran, E. A., & Sassi, P. (2020). A review of circular economy practices in the building and construction sector. Journal of Cleaner Production, 277, 123257.
- Casado-Mansilla, D., Vilches-Blázquez, L. M., & Navarro-Galera, A. (2020). Sustainable housing design and planning through circular economy strategies. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 163, 105096.