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The course is divided into six modules:

  1. Introduction: Motivation for the Circular Built Environment and basic terms The massive, existing building stock and constantly increasing housing demand requires new building technologies and design strategies. Is circularity the answer? We will discuss the principles of the Circular Economy and how the Circular Built Environment can apply to a number of systemic levels.
  2. Building products: Materials and components This week focuses on the products and materials, the base ingredient of buildings. What their life-cycle is and how they determine the overall life-cycle performance of buildings. We will explore design for disassembly and how this process can extend the useful life of the built product or bring them back to the circle.
  3. Architecture and building: Sustainable construction and operation This week we will discuss the buildings' layers and their life-cycle and explore how the principles of Circular Economy influenced the design of the featured case study buildings. We discuss the role of business models within the design and development process.
  4. Cities and neighborhoods: Buildings, infrastructure and resource flows Buildings cannot be seen as isolated entities. During this week we will explore how circularity is connected to the neighborhood and city level. We will discuss the three most important flows that enter, circulate and leave the urban environment every day: water, energy and waste. We acknowledge that potential circular solutions depend on scale (building block, neighborhood, city) and on the various ways in which solutions can be organized (individually, collectively or centrally).
  5. Regions: From supply chains to value webs The week centers around one comprehensive assignment which aims to explore the different impacts of thinking through scales. Furthermore, the assignment focuses on the geographical value chains of building products and reflects on possible environmental impacts of the different life-cycle stages and activities along the value web.
  6. Conclusion: Addressing the transition to a Circular Built Environment, a practical approach We will discuss how the various aspects learned are impacting the implementation of circular building principles. Finally, we will sum up and come to an integrated view on a future circular built environment.

Other Instructors

  • Els Leclercq - Urban designer and researcher at the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology
  • Alexander Wandl - Urbanist and associate professor at the chair of Environmental Technology and Design, at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology
  • Mo Smit - Architect and researcher, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology

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