Exploration for a successful transition to a circular civil engineering sector
Last Updated: 5-2019
The circular economy (CE) is a topic that has gained much interest in several sectors within the Dutch economy. Partly because of the environmental benefits related to the concept, but it is proven that the concept also has positive economical and societal benefits (EMF, 2015). At present, there is no overview of the effects related to the implementation of the circular economy within the civil engineering sector. This paper aims to address these issues and to positively contribute to this implementation by attacking the most important barriers and discussing their enablers. The barriers have been structured by using the Grounded Theory Approach which led to 28 different barriers in seven different categories. For the retrieval of these barriers, governmental papers and scientific articles have been read, furthermore, six interviews have been performed with experts in the field. The most important barriers have been identified and rated by using the Fuzzy Delphi Method which helps at finding a consensus within the different stakeholder groups. The four most important barriers have been identified and enablers are investigated for a better implementation of the circular economy within the civil engineering sector. This has led to the first steps that the sector has to undertake to become more circular: including the deconstruction and reutilization phase in the projects process, setting up a material database and storage bank, restructuring the maintenance sector, enhancing collaboration between the different stakeholders, and by improving the approval rate of reused and niche materials. By focusing on these steps the sector can start the progress to become more circular in their practices.