Barriers of incorporating circular economy in building design in a Danish context

Ayser Dawood Selman, Anne Nørkjær Gade

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The building sector has the responsibility to influence on recognizing the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By considering SDG goal 12 for responsible consumption and production, buildings in Denmark account for 35% of the total waste and 40% of the energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Circular Economy (CE) Is one of the crucial concepts to reduce environmental impacts, including climate problems by reducing waste and resources. This can be achieved through the choice of alternative materials or solutions, by promoting the life cycle and circular mindset. Previous research has shown that circular design principles are not applied broadly, thus, the study aims to investigate the potential of using CE in building design to provide designers, consultants, and contractors, an insight into the various challenges, when adopting circular strategies to reduce the waste of resources and environmental impact. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, along with questionnaires and evaluation charts, with four respondents involved in building design, from architectural, consulting and developing organizations with different levels of experiences in sustainable buildings, specifically in using circular concepts. The interviews were analysed to investigate how CE is incorporated into building design unfolding barriers and pointing out some key factors to promote CE principles, e.g., organizations behaviour, collaboration, politics, and economy. The results indicate the complexity of the CE transition, as numerous aspects need to be considered. It reveals that actors can improve their interdisciplinary interactions to use circular principles, raising their awareness as true intermediaries in progressing wider sustainability goals. Other barriers are related to a lack of circular materials passports.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) Annual Conference
Pages (from-to)665-674
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2020
EventARCOM conference 2020 - Online
Duration: 7 Sept 20209 Sept 2020


ConferenceARCOM conference 2020
Internet address


  • technology, engineering and IT
  • building design
  • circular economy


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  • ARCOM conference 2020

    Anne Nørkjær Gade (Paricipant)

    7 Sept 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesConference

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