Topic Editors

Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B152TT, UK
Laboratory of Building Construction and Physics, Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Faculty for the Built Environment, University of Malta, Msida, Malta
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geoscience, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands

Circular Economy Innovations and Breakthroughs for Built Environments

Abstract submission deadline
30 June 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
31 August 2024
Viewed by
2969

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The world faces many challenges due to the negative environmental impacts stemming from the construction and maintenance of built environments. Societies, governments and industry sectors worldwide have thus been seeking more efficient and sustainable methods of construction. Many interdisciplinary efforts have considered circular thinking in construction practices, maintenance technologies and asset management, integrating resource circularity into sustainability frameworks. This Special Issue will help to promote new research and innovation and breakthroughs for implementing circular economy practices in built environments, including infrastructures, buildings, tunnelling, stadiums, airports and many others. Topics that will be covered include the following: (i) supporting designers and engineers in developing more innovative and sustainable buildings, infrastructures and built environments and (ii) enabling national/local governments to adopt circular economy (CE) technologies, methods and innovation. Areas of interest include, but are not limited, to the following: construction adaptability; benchmarking framework; deconstruction; stakeholder management; BIM and digital twin; sustainable materials; sustainable construction; sustainable asset management; sustainable development; net zero and NZEB concept; lifecycle assessment; smart cities; carbon neutrality; and resilience. This Special Issue will also disseminate new research related to circular economy in collaboration with the EU COST.

Dr. Sakdirat Kaewunruen
Prof. Dr. Katerina Tsikaloudaki
Prof. Dr. Ruben P. Borg
Dr. Yunlong Guo
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • circular economy
  • sustainability
  • resilience
  • life cycle management
  • built environment
  • innovation
  • decarbonisation
  • digitalisation
  • green technology

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Buildings
buildings
3.8 3.1 2011 14.6 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Clean Technologies
cleantechnol
3.8 4.5 2019 26.6 Days CHF 1600 Submit
Materials
materials
3.4 5.2 2008 13.9 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Recycling
recycling
4.3 5.4 2016 20 Days CHF 1800 Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.9 5.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400 Submit

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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15 pages, 1694 KiB  
Article
Introducing a Novel Concept for an Integrated Demolition Waste Recycling Center and the Establishment of a Stakeholder Network: A Case Study from Germany
by Magdalena Zabek, Pauline Jegen and Lillith Kreiss
Sustainability 2024, 16(10), 3916; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16103916 - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 592
Abstract
Using recycled aggregates has many positive environmental impacts because of the conservation of natural resources and minimization of waste. The use of recycled aggregates in downcycling processes is already common in Germany, whereas utilizing them to produce high-quality recycled concrete is rarely applied [...] Read more.
Using recycled aggregates has many positive environmental impacts because of the conservation of natural resources and minimization of waste. The use of recycled aggregates in downcycling processes is already common in Germany, whereas utilizing them to produce high-quality recycled concrete is rarely applied in practice. The reasons behind this lag have been investigated based on surveys and interviews with stakeholders. Miscommunication and missing information were identified in all stakeholder groups. Therefore, establishing a robust network and facilitating knowledge transfer by specifying the demand for recycled aggregates in the case study region have been considered as prerequisites. Therefore, the paper presents a novel concept of a stakeholder network for an integrated construction and demolition waste center. The conceptualization integrates the recycling companies and construction product manufacturers in one venue with research, service, and educational divisions. The design of the facilities is based on calculations regarding future construction activities and the demand for concrete production. The proposed concept aims to supply the region in the west of Germany with high-quality recycled products while also establishing a robust network that offers benefits in terms of logistical optimization and knowledge transfer. Full article
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27 pages, 7480 KiB  
Article
Carbon Footprint Reduction by Reclaiming Condensed Water
by Yiu-Kuen Leung and Ka Wai Eric Cheng
Sustainability 2024, 16(9), 3867; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16093867 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Everyday activity incurs carbon footprints, which are classified as personal, production, organizational and national, and may be assessed by input–output analysis (IOA), life-cycle assessment (LCA), or the combination of LCA and IOA methods. Notwithstanding international standards, like ISO 14064 and Publicly Available Specification [...] Read more.
Everyday activity incurs carbon footprints, which are classified as personal, production, organizational and national, and may be assessed by input–output analysis (IOA), life-cycle assessment (LCA), or the combination of LCA and IOA methods. Notwithstanding international standards, like ISO 14064 and Publicly Available Specification (PAS) released for standardization, carbon footprint results can vary and sometimes lack consistency that due to variations in data sources, crossover boundary definitions, and operational boundaries for indirect emissions. The novelty of this study is the direct utilization of condensed water in an existing cooling water system, without the need for prior wastewater treatment, as typically required for greywater. The lack of practical case studies exploring the water–energy nexus in the context of reclaiming condensed water for evaporative cooling tower systems makes this research particularly significant. This highlights that condensed water can be a straightforward and cost-effective solution for both water conservation and energy savings. This case study highlights the benefits of reclaiming condensed water as supplementary cooling water, which proved effective in water quality treatment and dilution augmentation, considering that a higher cycle of concentration (CoC) was achieved, leading to reduced bleed-off that resulted in a water saving of 44% for make-up and 80% for bleed-off water, and energy savings from 6.9% to 13.1% per degree Celsius of condensing refrigerant temperature (CRT). The analytical assessment revealed that reclaiming condensed water is a promising answer for green building and is a by-product of condensation without extra power demands, avoiding the generation of an increased carbon footprint and exacerbation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from freshwater resource extraction, and for the production of energy-efficient devices or substitutions. By eliminating the need for wastewater treatment, this research enhances the practicality and feasibility of direct use of condensed water in various applications. This approach not only promotes sustainability by conserving water and energy but also renews interest among proponents of green building practices. It has the potential to accelerate the adoption of this method and integrate it into green building designs. Full article
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23 pages, 2502 KiB  
Article
Cultivating Sustainable Construction: Stakeholder Insights Driving Circular Economy Innovation for Inclusive Resource Equity
by Ferhat Karaca, Aidana Tleuken, Rocío Pineda-Martos, Sara Ros Cardoso, Daniil Orel, Rand Askar, Akmaral Agibayeva, Elena Goicolea Güemez, Adriana Salles, Huseyin Atakan Varol and Luis Braganca
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14040935 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 798
Abstract
Due to its intricate production processes, complex supply chains, and industry-specific characteristics, the construction industry faces unique challenges in adopting circular economy (CE) principles that promote resource equity. To address this issue, this study aims to delve into identifying stakeholders’ opinions and perceptions [...] Read more.
Due to its intricate production processes, complex supply chains, and industry-specific characteristics, the construction industry faces unique challenges in adopting circular economy (CE) principles that promote resource equity. To address this issue, this study aims to delve into identifying stakeholders’ opinions and perceptions regarding key CE strategies across different stages of the building life cycle (BLC). Both European and non-European stakeholders within the “CircularB” COST Action network and beyond participated in this research. Three methods were employed to assess stakeholders’ opinions: an online survey, a structured survey with a semi-guided workshop, and creative thinking round table discussions. Natural language processing (NLP), specifically topic modelling and sentiment analysis, was used to analyse the data collected from the online survey, which gathered text-based opinions from 209 participants on the cost-benefit aspects of circularity strategies. The structured survey, which collected data from 43 workshop participants, evaluated the perceived importance of CE strategies across various BLC phases and assessed the adoption of selected CE strategies in current or past projects. Finally, the Six Thinking Hats® activity, employed in the round table discussions, generated ideas from 25 professionals regarding the broader implementation challenges and opportunities of CE in construction. The research findings highlight the need to bridge the gap between theory and practice by fostering active industry stakeholder involvement in the transition to a CE model. The analyses of the collected stakeholder opinions through the three activities contribute to proactive and collaborative efforts aimed at advancing resource equity in the construction sector and promoting just and inclusive resource use. In summary, this research offers a comprehensive understanding of stakeholders’ opinions on CE strategies and provides guidance for the development of targeted policies and strategies to accelerate the integration of CE principles in the construction industry. Full article
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