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Circular Economy in Building Structures: We are Ready for a Radical Change

Event organised by ICE

01 December 2020

This event has now ended


We are in a climate emergency and urgently need to reduce carbon emissions. In the UK, 49% of annual carbon emissions are attributable to buildings. 

With the increasingly successful reduction of operational energy (and thus carbon emissions) in the built environment, the industry’s next challenge is to reduce the carbon intensity of the structures themselves (embodied carbon).

The adoption of circular economic design approaches that facilitate longer building lifetimes, greater component and material reuse can reduce the input flow of embodied emissions and ensure already expended embodied carbon remains in stock.

Why we are ready for a change?

We can no longer ignore the impact our individual and collective behaviours have on our environment or society. The built environment sector uses more resources and throws away more waste than any other. Technology has made a major impact on how the construction industry marches toward the future. The need is there for construction to get smarter and more efficient too.

With more innovative tools and techniques appearing all the time, civil engineers have the responsibility to design and built sustainable assets which fulfil the expectations of the next generations.