Implementing circularity in the construction process: a case study examining the reorganization of multi-actor environment and the decision-making process

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Circularity aims to make waste obsolete by both closing and narrowing resource loops and by extending the lifespan of materials and products. This fundamentally different approach to construction practices necessitates a completely different method of organising the construction process. The rounds of decision-making undertaken by different actors at particular moments in the construction process have a significant role to play in this regard. Consequently, this research aims to analyse current circular practices for both the multi-actor environment and the decision-making process. An analytical framework is developed based on the theoretically-informed assumption that actors are responsible for decision-making and that circular strategies are an effective means through which to integrate circularity within the construction process. This analytical framework is applied to three circular building cases in the Netherlands, by drawing upon stakeholder interviews and documentation. It can be concluded that: some conventional actors have acquired knowledge on circularity; and that there is an emergent group of expert actors specialising in circularity. Both types of actors are a prerequisite for implementing circular strategies at both the beginning and end-of-life phase of a building; and should be involved early on to influence decision-making on circularity, especially concerning the long-lived layers of a building.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-635
Number of pages19
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Actor analysis
  • circular construction
  • decision-making
  • network analysis
  • sustainable building practices

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