Due to the constantly growing population and global urbanization, the construction industry is one of the fastest developing industries in the world. The growing output of the construction sector is, to a large extent, based on a linear economic model, and the production technologies has not been significantly modified in some cases for 40 years. As a result, this branch of industry annually generates ca. 1.0 billion tons of solid waste on a global scale (according to the World Bank, construction materials account for half of the solid waste generated each year in the world ). In addition, the sector is directly and indirectly responsible for the emission of significant quantities of greenhouse gases. 39% of total CO2 emissions in the World is the result of construction, production of building materials, and the use of buildings .
These numbers confirm that the traditional economic model used in the construction industry must be replaced with a circular model, where materials and products will be used to the maximum, and the amount of waste will be limited. This calls for, i.a. extending the life of buildings, parts and materials from which they were made, while maintaining their maximum value in the economic cycle.
These goals require the involvement of all stakeholders of the construction market at every stage of the product life cycle. In some cases, it may be very helpful to use new types of business models, e.g. product as a service. It is also necessary to implement an information strategy regarding buildings, parts and materials used in them.
The use of circular construction is not corroborated by social or ecological arguments, but also by the economic ones. Circular models in construction allow for treating buildings as material banks, with the help of which you can easily get back the value invested in the construction. Additionally, having access to complete information on parts and materials from which the building is made will enable the owners to optimize their maintenance and further capital investments.
Despite such significant benefits (estimated at USD 1 trillion on a global scale ), before these changes take place, it is necessary to develop the market for circular products and materials. It is also indispensable to modify, i.a. methods of waste collection, logistics, production and change of roles in the construction market - producers will also become suppliers. The process of the construction market evolution from a linear to a circular model will certainly take time. However, we all have good reason to implement sustainable construction as soon as possible.