Circular Economy and Civil Infrastructure Systems



Last Updated: 2-2016


The economic growth of industrial countries is increasingly hindered due to the huge demand for natural resources such as energy, raw materials and minerals. While resource demand in the world increases the current economic model, the ‘linear economy’, entails significant limits and resource losses. Circular economy is an alternative economic system for the linear economy in which the economic growth is decoupled from the resource use. The construction sector, including civil infrastructure, is an important economic engine with one of the largest users of raw materials and energy. Therefore the potential impact of circular economy in this sector is enormous. In this research, the concept of circular economy including the principles and circular economy loops is described. In addition the barriers and strategies for the integrating of the circular economy principles into the design and engineering process is analysed. Making use of resource efficient design principles and involving stakeholders in the early design stage are the main steps in order to integrate the principles of circular economy into the engineering process of civil infrastructure systems.