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Circular design strategies

Develop a circular design strategy for your specific building project and context. Base the approach on the vision of a circular built environment, and translate it in a set of concrete project choices, varying from preservation to enabling future
material harvesting.

When to take action?

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Who can take action?

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Design team

Beginner expertise needed

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What are circular design strategies?

Circular design strategies are are methods, guidelines or tips that you can work with to make your building design fit the circular economy model. 

How to use these strategies?

Architectural design is context-dependent, and this also applies to circular design. It's a matter of evaluating which design qualities fit your design best.

Fortunately, there are already numerous guides and tools available to help you navigate through all of these strategies.

Take action

  • Assess your building's context and architectural concept against the Circular Design Qualities. Which qualities fit the concept? Which are feasible? Which are not?

  • Evaluate which of these qualities have an impact on ultimate sustainability and which are feasible. 


Buildings design with a high(er) circular potential.


Circular vision (Action Circular vision),

Circular business plan (Action Circular business plan),

Future scenarios (Action Scenario planning)

3 Circular design strategies tools

16 design qualities for a circular economy by VUB Architectural Engineering

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More information and sources

Circular design guide by Ellen MacArthur Foundation

The Sustainability guide by Interreg Baltic Sea Region

Scholen voor de toekomst by Groep Van Roey and VUB Architectural Engineering

CE Kompas by Circular Flanders

Why we shouldn't take these tools for granted. A paper on the evaluation of the Dynamic Design Matrix. (via ResearchGate)

Hungry for more considerations on such tools? Read the journal paper on design tools for circular building.

Article about circular design strategies - Jeroen Vrijders and Aline Vergauwen, WTCB (p. 4)

Previous action

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