How Can Digital Technologies Support the Circular Transition of Social Housing Organizations? Empirical Evidence from Two Cases

Sultan Çetin*, A. Straub, V.H. Gruis

*Corresponding author for this work

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

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The world is facing an alarming housing crisis. The challenge for the construction industry is to find sustainable ways to meet this growing housing demand. The concept of Circular Economy could be an alternative approach as it aims to regenerate, narrow, slow, and close resources loops. Digital technologies are seen as enablers to implementing these looping strategies through their capabilities for managing information and supporting collaboration and new business model creation. In the built environment, many digital innovations have emerged that support the circular transition of the industry at various spatial scales. However, these innovations mainly focus on nano, micro, and macro scales and lack perspectives on the meso level (real estate portfolio). This research aims to understand how digital technologies can support circular strategies at the meso level by collecting empirical evidence from the European social housing organizations actively experimenting with circular strategies. We conducted a multiple-case study method and chose two cases from the UK and Belgium. We collected data through desk research and online group interviews. Our results indicate that housing organizations adopt a wide range of circular strategies for managing their housing portfolio. The support of digital technologies to perform the circularity is low. Our findings suggest five potentially enabling digital technologies at the meso level supporting the housing sector towards circularity: circular asset management tools, digital building logbooks, material passports, BIM, and collaboration tools.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe state of circularity:
Subtitle of host publicationThe content of "the 2nd International Conference on Circular Systems for the Built Environment"
Place of PublicationEindhoven, The Netherlands
PublisherEindhoven University of Technology
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-386-5486-7
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • circular economy
  • built environment
  • social housing
  • digital technology
  • case study
  • Meso scale


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