Façades-as-a-Service: The Role of Technology in the Circular Servitisation of the Building Envelope

J.F. Azcarate Aguerre*, T. Klein, T. Konstantinou, Martijn Veerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The servitisation of the built environment, through the implementation of product–service systems, is considered a promising business strategy to achieve a circular economy transition. This servitisation faces a number of practical challenges, among them the technological readiness and effective integration and application of existing and emerging products, manufacturing processes, and digital monitoring and management tools. The research builds on targeted literature review, and on a research-through-design approach based on full-scale pilot projects developed in an ongoing feedback loop between researchers, planners, and industry partners representing both the demand and supply sides of the façade industry in the Netherlands. The paper analyses the technical implementation challenges currently preventing the façade industry from adopting performance-based contracts. It then proposes the roles that existing and emerging digital design and engineering technologies, manufacturing processes, and asset management systems can play in the development, implementation, and fulfilment of such contracts. The paper proposes a multi-stakeholder, systemic model for the development and application of façade technologies capable of overcoming many of the technical implementation barriers to the delivery of performance-based contracts for integrated facades. From this it concludes that an effective development of building technologies should strategically align with the solving of economic and contractual challenges such as circularity-readiness, profitability, risk distribution, legal demarcation, performance monitoring, and residual value stewardship. The resulting framework provides a strategic and conceptual basis for the development of circularity-enabling façade technologies, accounting for the diverse and sometimes conflicting interests of the multitude of stakeholders involved throughout a project’s lifecycle. The framework aims to support planners, manufacturers, and builders accelerate the circular deep energy renovation of the built environment while also exploring new business opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1267
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • façade engineering
  • circular economy
  • product–service systems
  • energy renovation
  • built environment
  • performance contracts
  • facades-as-a-service
  • service integration


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