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Awareness and understanding

Inform yourself and other design team members and learn about the circular economy in the built environment.

When to take action?

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Who can take action?

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All stakeholders

No expertise needed

Take action step by step

  • Reading publications on circular building,

  • Exploring realised projects with circular ambitions,

  • Experimenting with different tools for circular building, and

  • Discuss with other stakeholders on the implementation and impact of circularity principles in building design.


Provide time to learn


Understand the concept of a circular economy. Being more aware of the opportunities and risks of the circular economy is the base to take further steps in practice.

Circular what?

A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.


Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Why do we need it?

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40% of the CO2-emissions in Europe are attributed to the built environment. Almost 50% of all materials is used for the construction and renovation of buildings and infrastructure. And, the construction sector is a major producer of waste. 

Europe wants to be carbon neutral by 2050, including minimal use of raw materials and minimal impact of materials. To achieve the climate goals, something will have to change.

There is still a lot of work to be done, as only 9% of the materials today are used in a circular manner. But the transition to a circular construction sector has already started. More and more building actors have understood that the transition to a circular economy is not only necessary, but that the construction sector can also benefit from it. A circular economy is predicted to bring economic benefits, employment growth, and reduced risk of material price volatility and supply.

More information and sources

Introduction to circular economy in the built environment by Flanders Circular

Building a circular economy by VUB Architectural Engineering.

Circubuild posts articles on circular economy in the construction sector in Flanders.

Circular economy introduction by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Circular economy in the built environment by ARUP.

Vademecum circulair bouwen by Leefmilieu Brussel.

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