Digital tools for circular deconstruction 2023

21 April - 2023 , Online

SURE Eurodelta Meet & Learn #2

Speaker: Simon Duindam, Block materials

“What are the properties of circularity and how can buildings adapt to these principles of circularity” is the first question of this lecture on circular buildings from an economic point of view. The importance of microeconomic levels are addressed to fill in the gaps necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of the circular economy.

Through several examples, Simon Duindam explains how the limited nature of the understanding of the circular economy in the building sector contrasts with its economic counterparts. The urgency to plan the right steps to achieve the circular economy goal in the future is a clear consequence of our current actions. Simon also identifies reasons that may prevent the construction sector from achieving the circular economy.

Two main reasons are information asymmetry and property rights, which are explained in more detail using the paradigm of digital deconstruction. The difficulty of identifying and inventorying building materials that can be reused for the circular economy is an important lesson from this case. The organisation of building elements is highly dependent on the organisation of the legal structure for buildings to be circularised for future contracts. For example, it is possible to purchase materials from a building even before it is deconstructed, if the property rights are structured appropriately.

To achieve the circular economy in a cost-effective manner, technologies and legal enforcement mechanisms are valuable tools. Blockchain technology is an innovation that combats information about quality and legal ways to organise infrastructure and future use of building materials. The speaker concludes by recommending that the construction sector needs to create an inventory of all materials so that we can include them in a circular cycle through urban mining.

About this event series

The SURE Eurodelta network is preparing a common project on circular economy in the Eurodelta. In the run-up to this, the network is embarking on a series of ‘meet and learn’ webinars to explore some of the relevant themes.