Barriers and drivers in a circular economy : the case of the built environment

Hart, Jim and Adams, Katherine and Giesekam, Jannik and Tingley, Danielle Densley and Pomponi, Francesco (2019) Barriers and drivers in a circular economy : the case of the built environment. Procedia CIRP, 80. pp. 619-624. ISSN 2212-8271 (

[thumbnail of Hart-etal-PCIRP-2019-Barriers-and-drivers-in-a-circular-economy-the-case-of-the-built-environment]
Text. Filename: Hart_etal_PCIRP_2019_Barriers_and_drivers_in_a_circular_economy_the_case_of_the_built_environment.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 logo

Download (569kB)| Preview


The circular economy has moved quickly from niche conversations to mainstream attention. Reports, white papers, academic articles, and guidance are produced in rapid succession, and the world's first standard on circular economy for organisations has been realised. Most of this body of knowledge has a broad focus, but sectors and products differ, and if circularity is to materialise, a more tailored understanding and approach is necessary. This paper focuses on the built environment, where its constituting elements (buildings and infrastructure) are characterised by long lifespans, numerous stakeholders, and hundreds of components and ancillary materials that interact dynamically in space and time. To facilitate the pathway towards circularity, we have attempted to identify the barriers to and enablers for the circular economy within the built environment. This will form the basis of future work to build consensus on the future development of the circular economy. Technological and regulatory developments alone will not suffice, and a shift is required in business models and stakeholders' behaviours and attitudes.