Extended Reality as a Catalyst for Circular Economy Transition in the Built Environment

R.K. Soman*, D. Nikolić, B. Sanchez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

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Extended reality (XR) technologies refer to mixed reality and virtual reality configurations that augment real or represent fully virtual information in an intuitive and immersive manner, transforming the way we plan, design, construct, and operate built environment assets. XR offers great potential to support and accelerate the transition of built environment practices to a circular economy by supporting decisions based on narrow, slow, close, and regenerate strategies. Narrow strategies use XR to simulate the building process to identify potential issues, reduce material waste, and avoid costly mistakes. Slow strategies use XR to enable construction with durable materials and designing for adaptability to extend the lifespan of buildings. Close strategies use XR to facilitate material recovery and support repurposing and reuse, thus reducing waste. Regenerate strategies use XR as a motivational tool to engage citizens, communities, and professionals in design and management decisions. However, applying XR is not without challenges, including technical and process-related limitations, potential misuse, and a lack of rich digital twins. Future research opportunities include the development of rich and accurate digital twins, ethical and sustainable use of XR technologies, and overcoming technical and logistical challenges through interdisciplinary collaboration and user-friendly and accessible XR hardware and software.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Circular Built Environment in the Digital Age
EditorsCatherine De Wolf, Sultan Çetin, Nancy Bocken
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-39675-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-39674-8
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameCircular Economy and Sustainability
ISSN (Print)2731-5509
ISSN (Electronic)2731-5517


  • extended reality (XR)
  • mixed reality (MR)
  • virtual reality (VR)
  • immersive experiences
  • built environment
  • circular economy
  • digital twins


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