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Guidelines to use the actions

  1. Preferably start from the beginning of the design process. It is also possible to jump in elsewhere, but this entails the risk of having missed crucial actions in order to perform the following interventions.

  2. Don’t worry to get everything right from the beginning, “Learning by doing”. The more you prototype and learn, the greater your positive impact on the system.
  3. The interventions require different expertise levels. As a beginner, it is advisable to take small steps and carry out the interventions where little or no expertise in circular construction is required (indicated by none or one square). For every next project, level up to intermediate and advanced (indicated by respectively two and three squares).

  4. The category 'Antecedent' can be performed separately from the design process. Your acquired knowledge will be useful during the design process.

  5. If more than one tool is linked to an intervention, try more than one. Explore all suggested sources and tools but remain critical about which ones are most appropriate for the building project.

Structure of the website

The ACTIONS page contains 26 actions that architectural designers and engineers can take during their design process to design for circularity. An overview of the 26 actions is placed at the top of the page. 

Beneath the framework, a clickable tile is placed for each intervention. The intervention tiles are presented per intervention category. When clicking on a tile, you are led to the accompanying intervention.

The CASES page shows exemplary cases where one or more of the interventions are applied during the design process. 

The RESOURCES page provides an overview of all resources mentioned on the website. It serves as a reference section in an academic publication. Moreover, some extra background information is listed for interested advanced users.

Common design tasks

The timelines, the design phases, and the (common) design tasks where the actions refer to, are based on the Plan of Work scheme of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). A simplified version of the Plan of Work is used on this website.

RIBA simplified.png

Expertise needed per action

For each action, it is indicated which expertise is preferred to carry out the action. The expertise needed is divided into three categories: beginner expertise, intermediate expertise, and advanced expertise. 

Beginner expertise needed: you have heard of a circular economy

Intermediate expertise needed: you have followed some workshops, read some literature, or you have a (theoretical) background on circular economy in the building secot.

Advanced expertise needed: you have practical experience with applying circular economy aspects to building projects.

Background of the website

The Circular Actions website is based on the PhD research of Charlotte Cambier (VUB Architectural Engineering). The research grew from the question: How can the theory of circular economy be applied in building design? Various actions that the design team can perform during their design process, with the aim of obtaining a more circular building, were identified and tested.

The website offers an overview of those Circular Actions for Circular Architecture. For each action, concrete steps and background information are provided. Also, exemplary cases and existing tools for circular construction were collected and are linked to the actions.


More information on the research or the researcher? Interested in working together? Or another question or remark?


Feel free to contact us via consultancy.arch[at] or the VUB Architectural Engineering website

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