1.3.1 Circular Built Environment Framework

Course subject(s) Module 1. Introduction to Circular Economy for a Sustainable Built Environment

Word Cloud

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of “Circular Built Environment”? Write down 3 words. The more often a word is added by your fellow learners, the bigger and bolder it appears in our word cloud. As a result you will be able to see how the Circular Built Environment is described by others and which words stand out.

At this point it is important to establish a common framework of what Circular Built Environment means. This framework will be used during this course. In this video, Tillmann Klein will introduce you to the basic terminology needed to engage in the debate around creating a more circular approach to buildings.

Have a look at the word cloud above. Do you recognize the terms you used in the video below?

Circular Built Environment Framework


  • In the linear economy, there are three options to handle waste: recycling, incineration and landfilling.
  • The  circular economy is an approach aiming at minimizing waste and emissions, as well as closing water, energy and material loops.
  • These approaches are characterized by different strategies. Landfilling is no longer an option in the circular economy context, and design has a central role in circularity strategies.
  • We define the Circular Built Environment approach as a way to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through business models supporting the minimizing of waste by reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering materials during the whole life-cycle of a product.

Wait, what are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The United Nations’ Sustainable Devepment Goals (SDGs) are 17 global goals aiming to achieve more sustainable future for the present and future generations. Challenges such as poverty, hunger and climate change are addressed, while sustainable economic and social development, as well as environmental protection are promoted. Learn more about the SDGs here.

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Circular Economy for a Sustainable Built Environment by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://online-learning.tudelft.nl/courses/circular-economy-for-a-sustainable-built-environment//.
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