Circular By Design

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Circular Economy: the Bright Building at Bradford University

Furthering the discussion on circular economy here on the fairsnape blog, the recent publication Circular by Design, Products in the circular economy from the European Environment Agency, makes a valuable contribution and a worthwhile read.Of particular note for the built environment:

  1. policy questions posed, related to the circular economy from a materials perspective on eco design, design for disassembly and production.

Circualr by Design - Table 2

and suggested policy measures for the building sector to advance a circular economy.

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The Circular Economy will have a profound impact on building design, resources and waste management. The Circular Economy has been valued at a potential £29billion and estimated to create over 100,00 new jobs, and as defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is both restorative in nature and design seeking to maintain products, components and materials at their highest value at all times – avoiding down-cycling, conversion to energy or disposal to landfill.  MB

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Circular Economy: the Practitioner’s Guide

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At the 2017 US Circular Economy Summit, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) officially launched its Practitioner Guide to the Circular Economy after a three-week beta testing period.

This follows the launch of WBCSD’s CEO Guide to the Circular Economy at the World Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki. The Practitioner Guide, a great wealth of circular economy resources, was created specifically for sustainability professionals in design, procurement, marketing, waste management and financing.

The Practitioner Guide offers insight into over 70 strategies, 40 examples, 90 resources and numerous tools that companies can use to implement the circular economy. It’s a living catalogue that will be continuously updated to include the newest examples, strategies and tools in the circular economy space.

Users can explore the Guide to learn what circularity is, how it impacts business and what companies can do to move away from the linear “take, make, dispose” model.

The Guide is an open, freely available tool. Companies with compelling case studies and/or effective tools are encouraged to submit their content to the Guide. The idea is to make circular economy information easy-to-understand and widely accessible for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Source

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) 

Related Fairsnape iSite Circular Economy Posts:

New standard and guide for the circular economy: BS 8001:2017

PreCycling: A gateway to the Construction Circular Economy

Ready for a Circular Economy?

 

PreCycling: A gateway to the Construction Circular Economy

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Precycling is a term I adopted within FutuREstorative to describe the decision making process when specifying, procuring, ordering and calling off materials. It is the thought process, not for only the avoidance of waste but in considering net-positive and secondary uses for a product at the end of its initial use.

Precycling is defined as ‘making purchasing decisions that will ultimately eliminate, delay, reduce the need to recycle or dispose of waste” and should be at the top of all waste hierarchies, as indeed it now is with some of the organisation whom I am supporting.

I have suggested elsewhere that product or material data sheets or passports within BIM should contain deconstruction, disassembly future use options within their attributes, hence enabling and informing precycling decisions.

“Precycling is one of the gateways into a construction circular economy” and assists in making the conversion from Site Waste Management Plans (that detail methods for reducing and better management of waste) to Material Conservation Plans (that detail methods for conserving resources)

Material Conservation Plans are a Living Building Challenge requirement under the Materials imperative. A framework for UK Project Material Conservation Plans is included within FutuREstorative

In January 2017 BRE published Material resource efficiency in construction: Supporting a circular economy (FB 85) which although still having a focus on Site Waste Management Plans assists in shifting waste thinking further up stream, noting that Material resource efficiency can be applied across a construction project’s life cycle, but with the greatest benefits at early, pre-construction stages

4_fb85_165px “There is increasing awareness that improved material resource efficiency will produce benefits across the construction industry such as cost savings, reduced environmental impact and an enhanced reputation. At a construction project level, resource efficiency can be implemented at all stages (design, procurement, construction, in use and end of life) using established tools and techniques.

This guide describes the material resource efficiency requirements in BREEAM. It provides the background, drivers, benefits and practical advice to assist clients, designers and contractors in achieving higher levels of material resource efficiency. It will also be useful to product manufacturers, suppliers and waste management companies”

 

BS 8001 circular economy standard consultation

The British Standards Institute has issued consultation for BS 8001  for businesses implementing circular economy thinking. 

pexels-photo-94616I have covered the circular economy over the recent years within the built environment over recent years within blog posts here,through numerous presentations and workshops and of course within FutuREstorative It is great therefore to see that  BS8001 standard for circular economy guidance is out for consultation.

BS8001 in time will surely become as important as ISO 9001, 14001 etc in the lexicon of key standards, and more so than these standards, BS8001 will pull together a meaningful triple bottom line approach to business.

Unlike other technical standards BS8001 provides information on circular economy concepts, suggesting steps that can be taken to operate in a circular economy.  According to the BSI, the standard will help organisations take practical action to make the most of a low-carbon economy and cut costs and supply chain risks whilst generating economic and social value.

The standard is non sector, size or location specific, hence providing case studies, guidance and recommendations for all on circular economy business models and strategies

Perhaps one of the most useful aspects of the standard might be the in-depth review of current circular economy terminology and schools of thought. In an effort to clarify different parts of the circular economy for readers, 8001 seeks to distinguish between nuanced concepts and clear up some confusion that has emerged as circular economy conversation has proliferated. For example, the draft includes sections on ‘open’ and ‘closed’ loops, why the circular economy is distinct from resource efficiency and zero-waste agendas, and how the circular economy relates to other disciplines such as the Blue Economy, Cradle to Cradle and Biomimicry (1)

Consultation is open until January 15th to comment on the draft standard.

(1) http://circulatenews.org/2016/12/british-standards-institute-on-the-circular-economy/

Patagonia Worn Wear – UK Tour

“Let’s all become radical environmentalists” commented Patagonia chief executive Rose Marcario “As individual consumers, the single best thing we can do for the planet is to keep our stuff in use longer. This simple act of extending the life of our (stuff) through proper care and repair reduces the need to buy more over time, thereby avoiding the CO2 emissions, waste output and water usage required to build it.”

This remains in my mind, one of the more useful of circular economy thinking approaches

Patagonia’s Worm Well bus will be setting up temporary workstations at venues across the UK to repair garments, free of charge.

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Worn Wear at Kendal Film Festival 2015

The UK leg is part of a wider five-country mission across Europe to extend the life of outdoor enthusiasts’ clothing. It starts on 15 April in the UK and Germany before moving on to other European countries.

Dates and details are on the Patagonia Worn Wear website.

It would be great to see this extended into other areas, more built environment related areas, for example, FM organisations holding free equipment repair workshops in buildings they operate, construction and consultancy organisations returning to their buildings and providing free sustainability advice and repair service … The opportunities based on circular economy business models are huge.

Put simply, if it’s broke, fix it! Dont replace it

Related previous post: (2012) Construction CSR Makeover: can construction learn from Patagonia?