The construction industry is one of the largest users of resources and contributors to greenhouse gas emissions; with buildings and their construction making up 36% of global energy use and 39% of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
When it comes to incorporating sustainable and environmentally friendly design elements, there are several strategies, principles and materials to choose from. Innovation has also heightened as designers look for creative applications for less-conventional design techniques.
Circular Economy Principles
In the UK alone, the construction industry accounts for approximately 60% of materials use and one third of all waste arisings, suggesting there is a great opportunity for circular economy principles to reduce waste and increase reuse of materials.
“A circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, distinguishing between technical and biological cycles” – Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
This practice looks to designers to use renewable energy, reduce embodied carbon over the building lifecycle, designing for resource efficiency and designing out waste, essentially; use less, share more, and ensure there is potential for reusing, repurposing or recycling.