Special Issue "Circularity in the Built Environment"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Usha Iyer-Raniga
Website
Guest Editor
School of Property, Construction and Project Management, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Interests: Tools for sustainability; Quantitative and qualitative measures for sustainability; Circularity for the built environment; Built environment policy and regulation; Built environment design/form; Health and comfort in buildings; Heritage issues; Education for sustainability; Post occupancy evaluation; Smart cities; Climate change adaptation and responses; Affordable and resilient housing; Not for profit and social housing requirements

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Currently, the built environment operates in a linear way where large amounts of nonrenewable resources are used, particularly in the urban areas of the world. Recent estimates indicate that over half of the world’s population will live in urban areas, whilst providing over 80 percent of the global GDP generation.

The impact of the buildings and construction sector was recognised as a key contributor to global emissions for the first time at the Conference of Parties meeting, COP 21 in Paris in 2015. Several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) directly impact on the buildings and construction sector. Circular approaches support the goals of the SDGs and arise from the same foundations underpinning the SDGs.

Investment opportunities in the built environment for designing and constructing buildings based on circular principles, closing the loop on building construction and demolition materials, and building circular cities provide new opportunities. Aside from creating jobs, application of the circular principles supports resilience, reduces resource use and lowers overall emissions.

This Special Edition focuses on circularity in the built environment. Papers contributing to knowledge in this emerging area are welcomed. Papers may focus on application of principles of circularity, business models, case studies/best practice examples across various phases of the built cycle including the supply chain or new forms of shared services.

Prof. Dr. Usha Iyer-Raniga
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Circular principles/policies in the built environment
  • Construction and demolition waste management (particularly upcycling opportunities)
  • Design for disassembly, reuse and ease to recycle
  • Adaptability, flexibility and refurbishment of buildings and neighbourhoods
  • Sharing and multiuse of spaces
  • Use or reused or recycled content in new products and buildings
  • Circular water
  • Circular energy
  • Financing circular processes
  • Examples of best practice/case studies in the built environment
  • State of play knowledge for buildings and infrastructure impacting on circularity
  • Circular processes/closing the loop
  • Supply chain considerations for buildings/precincts/city

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Foresights from the Swedish Kitchen: Four Circular Value Opportunities for the Built Environment
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6394; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166394 - 08 Aug 2020
Abstract
This paper examines the kitchen as one relevant part of the home that is highly affected by frequent replacements, renovations, and a short service life. The aim is to discern circular value opportunities for the built environment by examining stakeholder activities and the [...] Read more.
This paper examines the kitchen as one relevant part of the home that is highly affected by frequent replacements, renovations, and a short service life. The aim is to discern circular value opportunities for the built environment by examining stakeholder activities and the value proposition associated with Swedish kitchens. The paper answers the research question ‘Which aspects in stakeholders’ value proposition of kitchens might contribute to future circular housing design?’. The empirical material was collected through a workshop, interviews, and a focus group session. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis while applying value mapping as an analytical framework. Four opportunities for circularity were identified: (1) aligning spatial and product design for a circular economy, (2) considering end-user perspectives and demands, (3) formulating regulations informed by research, and (4) developing circular products and services through collaboration. While some of these opportunities have already been emphasised in previous literature, the most distinct contribution of this paper is that it reveals the importance of spatial parameters when transitioning towards a circular housing design. The methods and results of this paper may be adapted to various building components to create a system-level circular economy in the built environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circularity in the Built Environment)
Open AccessArticle
Understanding and Managing Vacant Houses in Support of a Material Stock-Type Society—The Case of Kitakyushu, Japan
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5363; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135363 - 02 Jul 2020
Abstract
From a sustainable material management perspective, vacant houses represent material stock and still have potential in the circular economy. This article addresses two aspects of understanding and managing vacant houses: the difficulty of understanding their spatial and temporal patterns and the management of [...] Read more.
From a sustainable material management perspective, vacant houses represent material stock and still have potential in the circular economy. This article addresses two aspects of understanding and managing vacant houses: the difficulty of understanding their spatial and temporal patterns and the management of the social costs behind the phenomenon of vacant houses. These aspects are approached by combining a 4D GIS analysis with expert interviews and additional qualitative tools to assess the spatial and temporal dimension of vacant houses. Furthermore, this manuscript presents a tool to estimate the obsolete dwelling material stock distribution within a city. The case of the city of Kitakyushu demonstrates the relationship that exists between the historical trajectories of housing norms and standards, such as comfort, cleanliness, safety, and convenience, and the dynamics of the built material stock and demography for three selected neighbourhoods. The results show that the more locked-in a district is in terms of “obsolete norms and codes”, the more likely it is that the obsolete stock is dead, and consequently, urban mining should be considered. The article concludes that a revisiting of the norms and standards of convenience and other domains is one of the prerequisites of the transition toward a circular built environment and the prevention of obsolete stock accumulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circularity in the Built Environment)
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