B5 Circular buildings and construction: Decreasing the life cycle impacts of the built environment

20 Jun 2018
14:00 - 15:30

B5 Circular buildings and construction: Decreasing the life cycle impacts of the built environment

Buildings are key contributors to the livability of cities. They also play a leading economic role as the construction industry represents 6% of the global GDP (World Economic Forum, 2016). Yet all along their life-cycle, buildings are linked to far-reaching environmental impacts which costs are never factored in by real estate companies. Worldwide, it is estimated that around half of all non-renewable resources mankind consumes are used in construction. Adding demolition, the sector is also the largest contributor of waste and contributes more than 30% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions (ARUP, 2016). With the continuing population growth and urbanization projected to add 2.5 billion people to the world’s urban population by 2050, there is a global urgency to decrease the material and carbon footprints of buildings throughout their lifecycle. The concept of the circular economy offers a relevant framework to capture the different strategies that can be used by municipalities to minimize the embedded environmental impacts of building materials. Circular construction preserves and enhances natural capital, favors and optimizes renewable resources and prevents waste by allowing construction materials to enter an infinite cycle of use.Behind the theory and the ambitious concept, concrete tools exist to foster circular construction at the local level. Experts will provide participants with concrete examples of circular construction in practice as well as with tools and methodology to better account for the life-cycle impacts of construction materials and to effectively spatialize and quantify their availability and use on a given territory.

Miriam Badino
Senior Officer,Low Carbon Cities Team, Bonn Center for Local Climate Action and Reporting (carbonn Center), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

Keynote speakers

Martina Otto
Head of Cities Unit, United Nations Environment Program, France

Roland Hunziker
Director, Sustainable Buildings and Cities, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Switzerland


Igor Kos
Consultant, WCYCLE Institute Maribor

Miya Kitahara
Program Manager, StopWaste

Aristide Athanassiadis
Chair of Circular Economy and Urban Metabolism, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium