Towards circular thinking

suggested by

Short description

How can circular material choices & BIM in the design process aid the architect with making a more profitable & circular building design?


Circular Economy, Circular Design, Material Passport, BIM, Reuse

In our current ‘linear’ economy we take, make, use, and dispose. A circular economy refers to a system where materials and components are reused instead of disposed. There is a lack of knowledge with architects when it comes to material composition and origin. This is due to the outsourcing of material selection. Four objectives can be distinguished for this report: towards circular thinking, circularity in project and design, integrating circularity in BIM, and personal growth. The research question is: How can circular material choices and BIM in the design process aid the architect with making a more profitable and circular building design? Nine sub questions can be identified in the categories of the objectives. During this research an internship was followed in order to better understand the practice. Take, make, store: take a material, make something of it, and store, in a building, ready to be reused. There are tools needed to direct this process, secure reuse in the design process, and be the link between design and supply. An example of such a tool could be the material passport. ‘Conventional’ linear design processes for example the DNR-STB 2009 often do not mention material selection until the preliminary or final design. For circularity to be implemented in the design process certain design criteria have to be established. There are four categories in which the design criteria can be set up: design for reuse, design for leasing/service, design for longevity, and design for material recovery. A material passport is about designing and ensuring the reusability of materials and components. In the first phase of the design this means making an inventory of available (used) materials, preferably in the vicinity of the project. Slowly during the design the passport is filled in with a selection of information which can aid with the eventual reuse of the same material. For every project there has to be determined what information is required or needed. For this may differ for different type of projects. BIM offers real possibilities for integrating circularity and a material passport in the design process. The material passport can for example be linked to a ‘used’ material database in an intelligent material pool.








Written by: Maikel Scholten




This research is part of the graduation studio of Architectural Engineering at the Faculty of Architecture of TUDelft. The aim of the research is to analyse the context and develop program for a new Cyclifier. The research has been conducted under the supervision of Jan Jongert.





Comments (0)

not logged in