Human Health and Well-Being in Relation to Circular and Flexible Infill Design: Assessment Criteria on the Operational Level

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This paper addresses the connection between circular building design and residential health and well-being. The general research objective is to determine assessment criteria for the performance of indoor partitioning products in a circular model. The overarching aim is to establish a more integrated and inclusive approach to the transition from linear to circular built environments. This ties in with recent calls for a more comprehensive evidence-base to better inform the policy debate, in the light of interrelated Sustainable Development Goals. The paper emphasises the operational level, looking closer at the actual performance of circular economy implementation, providing more grip on performance indicators of infill components in circular applications, specifically partition walls. Next to partitioning one can think of other components in the infill domain, such as kitchens, bathrooms and mechanical, electrical, plumbing installations. After a brief background sketch, a literature review is reported regarding indoor environmental quality and indoor air quality in general and the linkage with circular and flexible building (products) in particular. Next, an analysis is made of three assessment schemes that address the operational level. Subsequently, several criteria are synthesized and tested. It was shown that the assessment schemes have overlapping and complementary features that, in unison, provide a solid basis for an integrated assessment of circularity potential and health impact of infill products. The test-case helped to pinpoint generic, as well as case-specific, learning points. The interface between product performance and building performance over time remains a grey zone, insufficiently covered by current criteria. More stringent coordination efforts are essential to safeguard circularity potential and healthy living environments pre-use, post-use and not least in-use.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1984
Number of pages26
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • circular building
  • flexible building
  • human health and well-being
  • infill materials
  • product operations
  • assessment criteria


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