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Circular Economy in Housing Architecture: Methods of Implementation

Circular Economy in Housing Architecture: Methods of Implementation Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura 20 (2) 2021, 65–74 content.sciendo.com/aspa ISSN 1644-0633 eISSN 2544-1760 DOI: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 ORIGINAL P APER Received: 30.03.2021 Accepted: 22.05.2021 CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN HOUSING ARCHITECTURE: METHODS OF IMPLEMENTATION Łukasz Kamil Mazur Institute of Civil Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Warsaw, Poland ABSTRACT The aim of the article is an analysis of the possibility of introducing housing construction into a more sustain- able and ecological level, through the concept of circular economy (CE) in the construction industry. Housing is an important part of the economy and construction sector. Development of this sector results from a grow- ing population in urban areas and the need of modernization of existing residential buildings. Contemporary realizations of housing environments should consider the reduction of the negative impact on the natural environment. This is possible to achieve by reducing the use of natural resources and start using recycled materials. This assumption belongs to the basic CE task, which allows a recirculation of building materials. To discuss the basic work, the assumptions used a non-reactive desk research method. The review of scien- tific publications and reports included a subject: (i) concept of CE, (ii) CE in construction sector, (iii) CE in housing construction. The second part of the study analysed innovative ways of using recycled materials and their implementation in new building materials (used in residential construction). Eco-innovation overview includes: (i) bricks from plastic waste, (ii) 3D printing of buildings from recycled materials, (iii) facade plates made of recycling materials. In discussion, the research revealed a number of barriers preventing the effective implementation of CE in the construction industry. The discussion indicates three potential barriers to the implementation of CE in housing environments: (i) social responsibility of the construction industry, (ii) recycling of building materials, (iii) building material resulting from recycling. Final paper conclusions confirming the rightness to implement CE concept in housing construction, thanks to which it will be possible to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Key words: architecture, housing, city, building disassembly, eco-innovation, circular economy 8 billion . In the nearby future, human population will INTRODUCTION be concentrated in already urbanized areas, causing In the 21st century our planet stands against new glo- that by 2050, 2/3 of the world’s population will be bal challenges, e.g. climate change, environmental, living in cities. Needs of new city’s residents and the and air pollution. This is just an example of the nega- consumption of natural resources will be expanding tive factors that our civilisation has to face. A factor at an alarming rate. Today, the economy is based on that also deteriorates this situation is an increasing more than 2/3 on non-renewable natural resources, number of world population. Researchers predict that of which the construction sector consumes more than by the end of 2025 the number of people will exceed 30% (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and The World Population Review website www.worldpopulationreview.com [access 24.03.2021]. Łukasz Kamil Mazur https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3799-4446 lukasz_mazur@sggw.edu.pl © Copyright by Wydawnictwo SGGW Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 Development [OECD], 2015). Construction sector building materials (used in housing construction) were must reduce the use of natural resources and start us- analysed. The presented eco-innovation paragraph ing recycling materials. One of the possible ways to describes: (i) bricks from plastic waste, (ii) printing reuse of building materials is the application of the a 3D building with recycled materials, (iii) facade tiles concept of a circular economy (CE). made from recycling materials. Research has been The presented paper discusses the possibility of completed by the discussion in which the author refers using the CE in housing construction. The scope of to the scientific work of other researchers and presents this work covers: (i) dismantling, (ii) reuse of build- three barriers to CE in housing construction. ing materials (also home furnishings), and (iii) sus- tainable eco-innovation. The reasons for research on LITERATURE REVIEW these problems arise from the possibility of improving the negative impact of the construction industry on the Housing in CE is an interdisciplinary research theme, environment. The number of housing buildings is con- including such fields as, e.g. civil engineering (Eber- stantly growing, and existing buildings require a peri- hardt, Birgisdottir & Birkved, 2020), architecture odic modernization (Firląg, 2019). An example may (Kellner, 2011; Eberhardt, Birgisdottir & Birkved, be residents of the European Union who live in 46.0% 2019) or urban planning (Ellen MacArthur Foundation in flats and over 53.3% in single-family houses (Euro- & ARUP, 2019; Nerini, Slob, Engström & Trutnevyte, stat, 2020a). It is estimated that 80% of EU houses that 2019; Williams, 2019). Research work describe the will exist in 2050 has already been built. Therefore, circulation cycle of the building materials in a closed- the existing housing buildings undergoing moderniza- -loop, including demolishing and dismantling buildings tion will increase the emission of carbon dioxide (CO ) (Marinova, Deetman, Voeta & Daioglou, 2020). They into the atmosphere. One possible way to reduce this are an important aspect of international policy and the emission is to implement the CE concept in the con- EU in the fight against negative climate change (Euro- struction industry. This method is promoted by the EU, pean Commission communications COM(2012) 433, which has implemented directives to reduce CO emis- COM(2016) 763). Transformation of the construction sions in the construction sector in terms of improving industry, in which the life of the building material does the energy efficiency of buildings (Directorate-Gener- not end with the demolition of the building and waste al for Climate Action [DG CLIMA], 2019). The aim of disposal, is needed not only for economic and social the presented research is to analyse the possibility of reasons but also for climate protection (United Nations introducing housing to a more sustainable and ecologi- Environment Programme [UNEP], 2009). Examples cal level by applying the CE in construction. of building disassembly confirm the rightness of these assumptions and the ability to implement the CE in the housing sector (Xu, Shen, Liu & Martek, 2019). On MATERIAL AND METHODS the other hand, recycling of building materials opens In the presented work, non-reactive desk research opportunities for innovative solutions in housing con- methods were used. The literature study in the first struction (Kleis, 2013; Zaheer & David, 2018). part was to identify and explain the concept of CE in the construction industry. For this purpose, a review of CIRCULAR ECONOMY scientific papers and reports included subjects: (i) con- cept of CE, (ii) CE in construction sector, (iii) CE in From the beginnings of life on the Earth, the human- housing construction. By defining the basic assump- ity uses natural resources to satisfy their own needs tions of the theoretical concept of the CE and CE (Walther, 2014). During the extraction and processing concepts in construction, it was possible to determine of natural resources, we can produce i.a. building ma- the possibility of using CE in housing construction. In terials – this is the basis of a modern economy known the second part of the study innovative ways of using as linear: an economy in which a building mate- recycled materials and their implementation in new rial after its useful life is treated as waste destined for 66 architectura.actapol.net Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 incineration or storage in the landfill (Smol, Kulczy- 2021). Aluminium as a material has an endless potential cka, Henclik, Gorazda & Wzorek, 2015). This system for reuse, it is estimated that the recycling rate of alu- is devastating our natural environment and gradually minium in construction is very high (85–95%) (Global leads to a natural disaster. Scientists can see the solu- Aluminium Recycling Committee [GARC], 2009). tion to this problem in transforming the industry into The main goal of the CE is the harmonious devel- a closed loop where materials can be reused (Leube & opment of humanity and the introduction of sustain- Walcher, 2017). ability elements into the economy without adverse af- The CE concept aims to eliminate the waste of ma- fecting on the existing ecosystem. Once extracted, the terials by bringing them back into second use. Loop- raw material can be used in various ways, maximizing ing natural resources in the life cycle reduces the need its life cycle (Leube & Walcher, 2017). The determina- to extract natural resources (Fig. 1). tion of all environmental impacts of the construction An example is aluminium, commonly used as material is possible by analysing the life cycle assess- a building material on construction sites all over the ment (LCA). The analysis starts from the extraction of world. It is estimated that all aluminium products in the natural resource, through the production, use stage, 2006 were used in 32% in the construction sector and and disposal (end of life). Thanks to this research 28% in the production of cables (which are used also method, it is possible to analyse and fully assess the in construction) (Scamans, Birbilis & Buchheit, 2010). product’s impact on the natural environment (Vilches, Aluminium is produced from bauxite – a sedimen- Garcia-Martinez & Sanchez-Montanes, 2017). tary rock with the largest natural deposits in Australia (Scamans et al., 2010). Extracting, transporting, and Circular economy in construction sector processing of bauxite requires a large amount of energy, The construction industry is responsible for one-third whose production is harmful to the natural environment of global CO emission and produces the most waste (Gadgil & Cherukumilli, 2019). At the same time, only (30%) among all sectors of the economy – causing the 5% of the primary energy is needed to recycle alumin- greatest damage to the natural environment (Thelen ium into other building materials (Bulei, Kiss & Alexa, et al., 2018). Fig. 1. Scheme of linear and circular economy model in construction ratio (own elaboration) architectura.actapol.net 67 Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 The expansion of the construction industry is vis- enables recovering as many materials as possible, and ible and undeniable – the building currently occupies then the building materials are processed or renovated. an average of 30% more land than in 1990 (OECD, This is the opposite of the traditional linear economy, 2017). This situation caused an increase in demand where the demolition of the building ends with the use for the necessary building materials, whose extraction of heavy machines to destroy the structure and storing doubled since 1980 (OECD, 2015). Despite such facts, the materials in a landfill. Reuse of building materi- in the ongoing public debate on climate change, the als has become the idea of many social organizations, role and responsibilities of the construction industry whose founders see in the recycling an opportunity to are not as publicized as, e.g. in the case of plastics pro- improve the situation of the local community (Delta ducers. However, the construction industry has many Institute, 2018). possible responses to the crisis, e.g. the large-scale use An example of such activities is the organization of recycled raw materials or the use of technology that Delta Institute which, since 1998, has been dealing reuses materials can significantly improve the natural with the environmental problems of the inhabitants of environment (Ginga, Ongpengand & Daly, 2020). the Midwest of the United States . In 2009, the organi- The construction waste market has great potential zation opened in Chicago the first warehouse for recy- for introducing a systematic and cost-effective recy- cled building materials – Rebuilding Exchange. The cling system. In the EU alone, 36.4% of waste comes initiative was to counteract local community prob- from the construction industry, e.g. from demolition lems: make construction materials available at more works – which is an average 1.82 t of waste per in- affordable prices and help the unemployed inhabitants habitant in 2018 (Eurostat, 2020b). The problem with find jobs after training and appropriate preparation reusing materials lies in the dominant model of a lin- in the field of construction recycling. A retail ware- ear economy (build, use, demolish), which is directed house with an area of over 2,300 m offers inexpensive to a quick profit (Mestre & Cooper, 2017). In practice, building materials which make it easier and cheaper this means that disposal and landfilling of construc- to restore the historic buildings of the city from the tion waste is disproportionately cheaper than reusing 20th century. The Rebuilding Exchange magazine also it. The investors of a new designed building are not runs i.a. workshops, where one can learn from local interested in what will happen to the property after artists and artisans how to bring recycled materials selling it and when the warranty period its end. Nota- back to life, and educational classes on the safe demo- bly, in the use of more expensive eco-friendly materi- lition of buildings . als or technologies, which positively affect the entire The Delta Institute estimates that only 5–15% life cycle of the building. An example may be a com- of the materials from the demolition of a residential mon use of cement with a greater admixture of alite building are not suitable for recycling, while 25% in construction structures, which allows faster bond- of the materials can be directly used (e.g. windows, ing and shorter construction time. At the same time, doors) and 70% of the raw material can be processed this material increases the strength of the connection, (e.g. concrete) – Figure 2. The organization proved which does not allow the complete recycling of the that the deconstruction of a house – can pay off and brick (Bukowski & Fabrycka, 2019). generate additional jobs for construction workers, warehouse workers, sellers, renovators, and people Circular housing construction conducting training in the field of construction skills One of the ways to apply a fully closed loop in con- (disassembly and renovation). Experts say that each struction is more frequent deconstruction and recy- person employed in the building deconstruction will cling of buildings. Construction works usually involve create another seven jobs in material processing (Delta dismantling the building by a manual method, which Institute, 2018). The Delta Institute website www.delta-institute.org/ [access 15.03.2021]. The Rebuilding Exchange website www.rebuildingexchange.org [access 15.03.2021]. 68 architectura.actapol.net Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 Fig. 2. Level deconstruction of a residential building and recycling of construction material (own elaboration based on Delta Institute, 2018) The positive impact of dismantling buildings ECO-INNOVATION on society has been recognized and spread to oth- Research on ecological innovation and implementation er American cities. Detroit, once a city with over in housing construction is a challenge for the construc- 1.8 million inhabitants, began to struggle with the tion sector for the next decades. Thanks to the innova- problem of falling numbers of residents, lack of jobs, tive idea, we are able to reduce the negative impact and deteriorating the technical condition of housing of construction on the natural environment. Effective environments, which led to arson. In 2004, the De- implementation of eco-innovation on a large scale will troit authorities demolished 2,600 residential build- allow the implementation of housing environments on ings, and in the south-eastern state of Michigan, a more sustainable and ecological level. Thanks to this more than 4,000. The difficult economic situation in solution, we are able to reuse the construction material one of the America’s largest metropolises even ended in accordance with the CE concept. in bankruptcy in 2013. That is when the Architectur- In the further part of the work, three innovative al Salvage Warehouse of Detroit (ASWD) initiative ideas will be discussed for the use of recycled mate- was born, which is a warehouse of recycled build- rials: (i) bricks from plastic waste, (ii) printing a 3D ing materials. His founders decided to try to restore building with recycled materials, (iii) facade tiles historical regional materials by reusing them (the made from recycling materials. ASWD slogan “Transforming WASTE into OPPOR- TUNITY”) . By recycling building materials, they Bricks from plastic waste also counteract environmental pollution and provide An interesting idea for the use of ubiquitous plastic decent, inexpensive interior materials to local low- has been developed by the founders of the Colombian and middle-income families. The ASWD foundation startup Conceptos Plásticos – converting waste into provides all financial profits to modernize and pro- a new building material. Their idea is to turn this ma- tect historical buildings and subsidies for other or- terial into a high-quality brick for building houses for ganizations. The Architecture Salvage Warehouse Detroit website www.aswdetroit.org [access 15.08.2020]. architectura.actapol.net 69 Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 the most needy. A residential building is built in just Facade tiles made from recycling materials five days and is 30% cheaper. The brick, according to Among the negative opinions on the use of recycling the founders, should withstand at least 500 years – at materials, the most popular concerns its worse quality. least the same as plastic bottles (Lundell & Thomas, An example, which shows that these materials can be 2020). The start-up was launched in 2011 by cooper- exceptional, is a Dutch start-up – StoneCycling, which ating with companies in Bogota to collect secondary made the facade of a tenement house in Rotterdam. raw materials. Prepared and purified plastic bottles The investors and at the same time designers were are melted with additional ingredients, in this process a young couple of architects who formed the Architec- is created a new material called Bloqueplas. Bloque- tuur MAKEN studio, who decided to finish their house plas as material is poured into special forms, in which and studio with a recycled facade. To build a façade, bricks are formed. An important aspect of the project StoneCycling needed 15 t of waste material, e.g. is the simplicity of the building system, which is based ceramic, glass, and clay waste, which was collected on connecting individual blocks like Lego blocks. within a radius of 160 km from a factory located in the This allows to build houses even unqualified construc- south-east of the Netherlands . Thanks to the unique tion workers, regardless of their skills or knowledge. recipe, i.e. the mix of construction waste, new recy- In 2015, in the city of Guapi (in the Colombia region cled bricks are created in the shades of purple, blue, of Cauca), 42 houses were built from this material, in red, green, black, and yellow (Budds, 2019). which 120 t of recycled plastic was used (Winkless, 2016). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Printing a 3D building with recycled materials The presented paper was prepared on the basis of liter- An example of how modern technologies and ecology ature research and enriched with innovative examples can complement each other is a five-storey residential of the implementation of the CE in the construction building in Shanghai. The world’s largest 3D printer sector. It was confirmed that there is a need to design with a length of 150 m and a height of 6 m was used for a housing environment on the ideals of sustainable its structures. The WinSun company produced the first development goals. Where new residential buildings high-rise residential building in the world, with a total as well as modernized housing will reduce the use of area of 1,100 m , using the printing method. Build- natural resources and reduce CO emissions to the ing material, used for printing, was made of recycled atmosphere. construction waste, including concrete, fiberglass, and To efficiently implement CE, the construction sand. The structure was created by overlapping suc- sector must take a series of deep reforms, which will cessive layers of building material. The construction reduce the negative impact on the natural environ- process of printing buildings has many advantages: ment (Núñez-Cacho, Górecki, Molina & Corpas- the time needed to build a building is reduced by 30%, -Iglesias, 2018). Introduction of a closed-loop mate- the workload of construction workers is reduced by rial is a difficult challenge for the entire construction 80%, and above all, savings in material reach up to sector, starting from obtaining material, production, 60% (Yihe, 2019). Ma Yi, the founder of WinSun, said through a construction project and construction itself, „Industrial waste from demolished buildings destroys and ending with the deconstruction and recycling of our environment, but thanks to 3D printing we are able the building. The implementation of CE in construc- to recycle construction waste and transform it into tion is associated with overcoming a number of bar- new ones. This will create a much safer workplace for riers that prevent efficient material circulation. To workers and significantly reduce construction costs” overcome the barriers, there are increasing scientific (Russon, 2014). works which discuss the research problem in detail. The StoneCycling website www.stonecycling.com [access 15.03.2021]. 70 architectura.actapol.net Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 According to the research by Fritz Benachio, Carmo Building materials resulting from recycling Duarte Freitas and Tavares (2020), the number of The discussed examples of eco-innovations prove that publications on CE in the construction sector in 2019 it is possible to use waste not only from construction has doubled relative to the previous year (confirming but also from other economy sectors to the implemen- the increased interest in research). Among the numer- tation in new building materials. Examples of bricks ous scientific works describing barriers, the publica- from plastic waste (Winkless, 2016), 3D printing of tion of Mahpour (2018) should be pointed out, which a building with recycled materials (Yihe, 2019), and identified 22 potential causes of barriers and grouped facade tiles made from recycling materials (Stonecy- them in three categories: behavioural, technical or cling, 2021) prove that a new construction material legal deficiencies. resulting from recycling may qualitatively not differ Further part of the discussion is divided into three from materials produced from natural raw materials. potential barriers occurring in particular in residen- The problem in the implementation of new building tial facilities: (i) social responsibility of the construc- materials resulting from the recycling of raw materials tion industry, (ii) recycling of building materials, (iii) may be uncertainty in the prices of material resources building material resulting from recycling. in the future (Morgan, 2014). The building material of the initial low value may not be subjected to recycling Social responsibility of the construction industry – mostly for economic reasons and the cost of process- The deconstruction of the building in aim to obtain ing. Investors having cheap construction materials from building materials for reuse and recycling causes natural resources may not decide to cover additional positive social factors. Social responsibility factor is costs and use a recycling material (Tebbatt et al., 2017). understood here as a conscious realization of build- ings by public administration companies using CE CONCLUSIONS concept (Núñez-Cacho et al., 2018). In addition, the deconstruction and recycling of the building may af- Times in which construction waste was treated as un- fect the improvement of the living conditions of the necessary trash have come to an end. Recycling materi- local community – the activities of the Delta Institute als will be valued on a par with natural resources, what are examples (2018, 2021). will reduce their extraction. It seems to be important to use the recycled waste materials from disassembly and Recycling of building materials renovation buildings, because 1/4 of them can be di- Effective sourcing of building materials for recycling rectly used in another construction site. The construc- and reuse requires analysing the barriers responsi- tion waste market has a great potential to introduce ble for the technical solution. These barriers can be innovative and systematic eco-friendly technologies divided into three levels: materials, product, and/or – which reuse materials from waste. The future of the building (Tebbatt, Osmani, Thorpe & Thornback, construction industry is gradually moving towards 2017). Effective deconstruction of the building and in a closed material loop, causing a reduction in the acquiring recycling materials will be possible thanks necessary financial outlays and the time needed to to the preparation of a suitable construction project, build and furnish an apartment. Recycling of building including its adaptability, flexibility, and final decon- materials has a positive effect on the economy, local struction plan. It should also be emphasized how im- community, and waste management. The idea of CE portant it is to make preliminary recycling on the site reduces the demand for energy needed to extract the of built waste. Thanks to which it will be possible to raw material, transport and its production – reducing directly use them with low cost and energy effort, e.g. the negative impact on the natural environment – and in the warehouses of building materials . respects the need for future generations. 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Towards a Circular Econ- 044452787-5.00095-0 omy: A Case Study of Waste Conversion into Housing Smol, M., Kulczycka, J., Henclik, A., Gorazda, K. & Units in Cotonou, Benin. Urban Science, 2 (4), 118. Wzorek, Z. (2015). The possible use of sewage sludge https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2040118 architectura.actapol.net 73 Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 GOSPODARKA OBIEGU ZAMKNIĘTEGO W ARCHITEKTURZE MIESZKANIOWEJ: ANALIZA METOD WDROŻENIA STRESZCZENIE Celem prezentowanego artykułu badawczego jest przeanalizowanie możliwości wprowadzenia budow- nictwa mieszkaniowego na bardziej zrównoważony poziom poprzez zastosowanie koncepcji gospodar- ki o obiegu zamkniętym (GOZ). Mieszkalnictwo jest ważną częścią gospodarki i sektora budowlanego. Wzrost w tym sektorze wynika ze wzrostu ludności na obszarach zurbanizowanych i potrzeby modernizacji istniejących zasobów. Współczesne realizacje środowisk mieszkaniowych powinny uwzględniać zmniej- szenie negatywnego wpływu na środowisko naturalne. Możliwe jest to poprzez zmniejszenie zapotrzebo- wania na materiały budowlane pochodzące z surowców naturalnych i rozpoczęcie stosowania materiałów pochodzących z recyklingu. Założenie to należy do podstawowego zadania GOZ, w której następuje obieg zamknięty materiału budowlanego poprzez jego powtórne wykorzystanie. W celu omówienia podstawo- wych założeń pracy zastosowano metody badań niereaktywne: metoda badawcza desk research. Przegląd publikacji naukowych i raportów obejmowały: (a) podstawy koncepcji GOZ, (b) podstawy koncepcji GOZ w sektorze budowlanym, (c) podstawy koncepcji GOZ w budownictwie mieszkaniowym. W drugiej części badań analizowano innowacyjne sposoby wykorzystania materiałów pochodzących z recyklingu do rea- lizacji nowych materiałów budowlanych. Przedstawiono ekoinnowacje: (a) cegły z odpadów z tworzyw sztucznych, (b) druk 3D budynku z materiałów pochodzących z recyklingu, (c) płytki fasadowe wykonane z materiałów recyklingowych. W dyskusji omówiono trzy potencjalne bariery występujące w realizacjach środowisk mieszkaniowych: (1) odpowiedzialność społeczna przemysłu budowlanego, (2) recykling ma- teriałów budowlanych, (3) materiał budowlany powstały z surowca z recyklingu. Wnioski końcowe pracy potwierdzają słuszność wdrożenia koncepcji GOZ w budownictwie mieszkaniowym. Słowa kluczowe: architektura, architektura mieszkaniowa, miasto, demontaż budynków, ekologiczne inno- wacje, gospodarka o obiegu zamkniętym 74 architectura.actapol.net http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Acta Scientiarum Polonorum Architectura de Gruyter

Circular Economy in Housing Architecture: Methods of Implementation

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Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura 20 (2) 2021, 65–74 content.sciendo.com/aspa ISSN 1644-0633 eISSN 2544-1760 DOI: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 ORIGINAL P APER Received: 30.03.2021 Accepted: 22.05.2021 CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN HOUSING ARCHITECTURE: METHODS OF IMPLEMENTATION Łukasz Kamil Mazur Institute of Civil Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Warsaw, Poland ABSTRACT The aim of the article is an analysis of the possibility of introducing housing construction into a more sustain- able and ecological level, through the concept of circular economy (CE) in the construction industry. Housing is an important part of the economy and construction sector. Development of this sector results from a grow- ing population in urban areas and the need of modernization of existing residential buildings. Contemporary realizations of housing environments should consider the reduction of the negative impact on the natural environment. This is possible to achieve by reducing the use of natural resources and start using recycled materials. This assumption belongs to the basic CE task, which allows a recirculation of building materials. To discuss the basic work, the assumptions used a non-reactive desk research method. The review of scien- tific publications and reports included a subject: (i) concept of CE, (ii) CE in construction sector, (iii) CE in housing construction. The second part of the study analysed innovative ways of using recycled materials and their implementation in new building materials (used in residential construction). Eco-innovation overview includes: (i) bricks from plastic waste, (ii) 3D printing of buildings from recycled materials, (iii) facade plates made of recycling materials. In discussion, the research revealed a number of barriers preventing the effective implementation of CE in the construction industry. The discussion indicates three potential barriers to the implementation of CE in housing environments: (i) social responsibility of the construction industry, (ii) recycling of building materials, (iii) building material resulting from recycling. Final paper conclusions confirming the rightness to implement CE concept in housing construction, thanks to which it will be possible to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Key words: architecture, housing, city, building disassembly, eco-innovation, circular economy 8 billion . In the nearby future, human population will INTRODUCTION be concentrated in already urbanized areas, causing In the 21st century our planet stands against new glo- that by 2050, 2/3 of the world’s population will be bal challenges, e.g. climate change, environmental, living in cities. Needs of new city’s residents and the and air pollution. This is just an example of the nega- consumption of natural resources will be expanding tive factors that our civilisation has to face. A factor at an alarming rate. Today, the economy is based on that also deteriorates this situation is an increasing more than 2/3 on non-renewable natural resources, number of world population. Researchers predict that of which the construction sector consumes more than by the end of 2025 the number of people will exceed 30% (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and The World Population Review website www.worldpopulationreview.com [access 24.03.2021]. Łukasz Kamil Mazur https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3799-4446 lukasz_mazur@sggw.edu.pl © Copyright by Wydawnictwo SGGW Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 Development [OECD], 2015). Construction sector building materials (used in housing construction) were must reduce the use of natural resources and start us- analysed. The presented eco-innovation paragraph ing recycling materials. One of the possible ways to describes: (i) bricks from plastic waste, (ii) printing reuse of building materials is the application of the a 3D building with recycled materials, (iii) facade tiles concept of a circular economy (CE). made from recycling materials. Research has been The presented paper discusses the possibility of completed by the discussion in which the author refers using the CE in housing construction. The scope of to the scientific work of other researchers and presents this work covers: (i) dismantling, (ii) reuse of build- three barriers to CE in housing construction. ing materials (also home furnishings), and (iii) sus- tainable eco-innovation. The reasons for research on LITERATURE REVIEW these problems arise from the possibility of improving the negative impact of the construction industry on the Housing in CE is an interdisciplinary research theme, environment. The number of housing buildings is con- including such fields as, e.g. civil engineering (Eber- stantly growing, and existing buildings require a peri- hardt, Birgisdottir & Birkved, 2020), architecture odic modernization (Firląg, 2019). An example may (Kellner, 2011; Eberhardt, Birgisdottir & Birkved, be residents of the European Union who live in 46.0% 2019) or urban planning (Ellen MacArthur Foundation in flats and over 53.3% in single-family houses (Euro- & ARUP, 2019; Nerini, Slob, Engström & Trutnevyte, stat, 2020a). It is estimated that 80% of EU houses that 2019; Williams, 2019). Research work describe the will exist in 2050 has already been built. Therefore, circulation cycle of the building materials in a closed- the existing housing buildings undergoing moderniza- -loop, including demolishing and dismantling buildings tion will increase the emission of carbon dioxide (CO ) (Marinova, Deetman, Voeta & Daioglou, 2020). They into the atmosphere. One possible way to reduce this are an important aspect of international policy and the emission is to implement the CE concept in the con- EU in the fight against negative climate change (Euro- struction industry. This method is promoted by the EU, pean Commission communications COM(2012) 433, which has implemented directives to reduce CO emis- COM(2016) 763). Transformation of the construction sions in the construction sector in terms of improving industry, in which the life of the building material does the energy efficiency of buildings (Directorate-Gener- not end with the demolition of the building and waste al for Climate Action [DG CLIMA], 2019). The aim of disposal, is needed not only for economic and social the presented research is to analyse the possibility of reasons but also for climate protection (United Nations introducing housing to a more sustainable and ecologi- Environment Programme [UNEP], 2009). Examples cal level by applying the CE in construction. of building disassembly confirm the rightness of these assumptions and the ability to implement the CE in the housing sector (Xu, Shen, Liu & Martek, 2019). On MATERIAL AND METHODS the other hand, recycling of building materials opens In the presented work, non-reactive desk research opportunities for innovative solutions in housing con- methods were used. The literature study in the first struction (Kleis, 2013; Zaheer & David, 2018). part was to identify and explain the concept of CE in the construction industry. For this purpose, a review of CIRCULAR ECONOMY scientific papers and reports included subjects: (i) con- cept of CE, (ii) CE in construction sector, (iii) CE in From the beginnings of life on the Earth, the human- housing construction. By defining the basic assump- ity uses natural resources to satisfy their own needs tions of the theoretical concept of the CE and CE (Walther, 2014). During the extraction and processing concepts in construction, it was possible to determine of natural resources, we can produce i.a. building ma- the possibility of using CE in housing construction. In terials – this is the basis of a modern economy known the second part of the study innovative ways of using as linear: an economy in which a building mate- recycled materials and their implementation in new rial after its useful life is treated as waste destined for 66 architectura.actapol.net Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 incineration or storage in the landfill (Smol, Kulczy- 2021). Aluminium as a material has an endless potential cka, Henclik, Gorazda & Wzorek, 2015). This system for reuse, it is estimated that the recycling rate of alu- is devastating our natural environment and gradually minium in construction is very high (85–95%) (Global leads to a natural disaster. Scientists can see the solu- Aluminium Recycling Committee [GARC], 2009). tion to this problem in transforming the industry into The main goal of the CE is the harmonious devel- a closed loop where materials can be reused (Leube & opment of humanity and the introduction of sustain- Walcher, 2017). ability elements into the economy without adverse af- The CE concept aims to eliminate the waste of ma- fecting on the existing ecosystem. Once extracted, the terials by bringing them back into second use. Loop- raw material can be used in various ways, maximizing ing natural resources in the life cycle reduces the need its life cycle (Leube & Walcher, 2017). The determina- to extract natural resources (Fig. 1). tion of all environmental impacts of the construction An example is aluminium, commonly used as material is possible by analysing the life cycle assess- a building material on construction sites all over the ment (LCA). The analysis starts from the extraction of world. It is estimated that all aluminium products in the natural resource, through the production, use stage, 2006 were used in 32% in the construction sector and and disposal (end of life). Thanks to this research 28% in the production of cables (which are used also method, it is possible to analyse and fully assess the in construction) (Scamans, Birbilis & Buchheit, 2010). product’s impact on the natural environment (Vilches, Aluminium is produced from bauxite – a sedimen- Garcia-Martinez & Sanchez-Montanes, 2017). tary rock with the largest natural deposits in Australia (Scamans et al., 2010). Extracting, transporting, and Circular economy in construction sector processing of bauxite requires a large amount of energy, The construction industry is responsible for one-third whose production is harmful to the natural environment of global CO emission and produces the most waste (Gadgil & Cherukumilli, 2019). At the same time, only (30%) among all sectors of the economy – causing the 5% of the primary energy is needed to recycle alumin- greatest damage to the natural environment (Thelen ium into other building materials (Bulei, Kiss & Alexa, et al., 2018). Fig. 1. Scheme of linear and circular economy model in construction ratio (own elaboration) architectura.actapol.net 67 Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 The expansion of the construction industry is vis- enables recovering as many materials as possible, and ible and undeniable – the building currently occupies then the building materials are processed or renovated. an average of 30% more land than in 1990 (OECD, This is the opposite of the traditional linear economy, 2017). This situation caused an increase in demand where the demolition of the building ends with the use for the necessary building materials, whose extraction of heavy machines to destroy the structure and storing doubled since 1980 (OECD, 2015). Despite such facts, the materials in a landfill. Reuse of building materi- in the ongoing public debate on climate change, the als has become the idea of many social organizations, role and responsibilities of the construction industry whose founders see in the recycling an opportunity to are not as publicized as, e.g. in the case of plastics pro- improve the situation of the local community (Delta ducers. However, the construction industry has many Institute, 2018). possible responses to the crisis, e.g. the large-scale use An example of such activities is the organization of recycled raw materials or the use of technology that Delta Institute which, since 1998, has been dealing reuses materials can significantly improve the natural with the environmental problems of the inhabitants of environment (Ginga, Ongpengand & Daly, 2020). the Midwest of the United States . In 2009, the organi- The construction waste market has great potential zation opened in Chicago the first warehouse for recy- for introducing a systematic and cost-effective recy- cled building materials – Rebuilding Exchange. The cling system. In the EU alone, 36.4% of waste comes initiative was to counteract local community prob- from the construction industry, e.g. from demolition lems: make construction materials available at more works – which is an average 1.82 t of waste per in- affordable prices and help the unemployed inhabitants habitant in 2018 (Eurostat, 2020b). The problem with find jobs after training and appropriate preparation reusing materials lies in the dominant model of a lin- in the field of construction recycling. A retail ware- ear economy (build, use, demolish), which is directed house with an area of over 2,300 m offers inexpensive to a quick profit (Mestre & Cooper, 2017). In practice, building materials which make it easier and cheaper this means that disposal and landfilling of construc- to restore the historic buildings of the city from the tion waste is disproportionately cheaper than reusing 20th century. The Rebuilding Exchange magazine also it. The investors of a new designed building are not runs i.a. workshops, where one can learn from local interested in what will happen to the property after artists and artisans how to bring recycled materials selling it and when the warranty period its end. Nota- back to life, and educational classes on the safe demo- bly, in the use of more expensive eco-friendly materi- lition of buildings . als or technologies, which positively affect the entire The Delta Institute estimates that only 5–15% life cycle of the building. An example may be a com- of the materials from the demolition of a residential mon use of cement with a greater admixture of alite building are not suitable for recycling, while 25% in construction structures, which allows faster bond- of the materials can be directly used (e.g. windows, ing and shorter construction time. At the same time, doors) and 70% of the raw material can be processed this material increases the strength of the connection, (e.g. concrete) – Figure 2. The organization proved which does not allow the complete recycling of the that the deconstruction of a house – can pay off and brick (Bukowski & Fabrycka, 2019). generate additional jobs for construction workers, warehouse workers, sellers, renovators, and people Circular housing construction conducting training in the field of construction skills One of the ways to apply a fully closed loop in con- (disassembly and renovation). Experts say that each struction is more frequent deconstruction and recy- person employed in the building deconstruction will cling of buildings. Construction works usually involve create another seven jobs in material processing (Delta dismantling the building by a manual method, which Institute, 2018). The Delta Institute website www.delta-institute.org/ [access 15.03.2021]. The Rebuilding Exchange website www.rebuildingexchange.org [access 15.03.2021]. 68 architectura.actapol.net Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 Fig. 2. Level deconstruction of a residential building and recycling of construction material (own elaboration based on Delta Institute, 2018) The positive impact of dismantling buildings ECO-INNOVATION on society has been recognized and spread to oth- Research on ecological innovation and implementation er American cities. Detroit, once a city with over in housing construction is a challenge for the construc- 1.8 million inhabitants, began to struggle with the tion sector for the next decades. Thanks to the innova- problem of falling numbers of residents, lack of jobs, tive idea, we are able to reduce the negative impact and deteriorating the technical condition of housing of construction on the natural environment. Effective environments, which led to arson. In 2004, the De- implementation of eco-innovation on a large scale will troit authorities demolished 2,600 residential build- allow the implementation of housing environments on ings, and in the south-eastern state of Michigan, a more sustainable and ecological level. Thanks to this more than 4,000. The difficult economic situation in solution, we are able to reuse the construction material one of the America’s largest metropolises even ended in accordance with the CE concept. in bankruptcy in 2013. That is when the Architectur- In the further part of the work, three innovative al Salvage Warehouse of Detroit (ASWD) initiative ideas will be discussed for the use of recycled mate- was born, which is a warehouse of recycled build- rials: (i) bricks from plastic waste, (ii) printing a 3D ing materials. His founders decided to try to restore building with recycled materials, (iii) facade tiles historical regional materials by reusing them (the made from recycling materials. ASWD slogan “Transforming WASTE into OPPOR- TUNITY”) . By recycling building materials, they Bricks from plastic waste also counteract environmental pollution and provide An interesting idea for the use of ubiquitous plastic decent, inexpensive interior materials to local low- has been developed by the founders of the Colombian and middle-income families. The ASWD foundation startup Conceptos Plásticos – converting waste into provides all financial profits to modernize and pro- a new building material. Their idea is to turn this ma- tect historical buildings and subsidies for other or- terial into a high-quality brick for building houses for ganizations. The Architecture Salvage Warehouse Detroit website www.aswdetroit.org [access 15.08.2020]. architectura.actapol.net 69 Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 the most needy. A residential building is built in just Facade tiles made from recycling materials five days and is 30% cheaper. The brick, according to Among the negative opinions on the use of recycling the founders, should withstand at least 500 years – at materials, the most popular concerns its worse quality. least the same as plastic bottles (Lundell & Thomas, An example, which shows that these materials can be 2020). The start-up was launched in 2011 by cooper- exceptional, is a Dutch start-up – StoneCycling, which ating with companies in Bogota to collect secondary made the facade of a tenement house in Rotterdam. raw materials. Prepared and purified plastic bottles The investors and at the same time designers were are melted with additional ingredients, in this process a young couple of architects who formed the Architec- is created a new material called Bloqueplas. Bloque- tuur MAKEN studio, who decided to finish their house plas as material is poured into special forms, in which and studio with a recycled facade. To build a façade, bricks are formed. An important aspect of the project StoneCycling needed 15 t of waste material, e.g. is the simplicity of the building system, which is based ceramic, glass, and clay waste, which was collected on connecting individual blocks like Lego blocks. within a radius of 160 km from a factory located in the This allows to build houses even unqualified construc- south-east of the Netherlands . Thanks to the unique tion workers, regardless of their skills or knowledge. recipe, i.e. the mix of construction waste, new recy- In 2015, in the city of Guapi (in the Colombia region cled bricks are created in the shades of purple, blue, of Cauca), 42 houses were built from this material, in red, green, black, and yellow (Budds, 2019). which 120 t of recycled plastic was used (Winkless, 2016). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Printing a 3D building with recycled materials The presented paper was prepared on the basis of liter- An example of how modern technologies and ecology ature research and enriched with innovative examples can complement each other is a five-storey residential of the implementation of the CE in the construction building in Shanghai. The world’s largest 3D printer sector. It was confirmed that there is a need to design with a length of 150 m and a height of 6 m was used for a housing environment on the ideals of sustainable its structures. The WinSun company produced the first development goals. Where new residential buildings high-rise residential building in the world, with a total as well as modernized housing will reduce the use of area of 1,100 m , using the printing method. Build- natural resources and reduce CO emissions to the ing material, used for printing, was made of recycled atmosphere. construction waste, including concrete, fiberglass, and To efficiently implement CE, the construction sand. The structure was created by overlapping suc- sector must take a series of deep reforms, which will cessive layers of building material. The construction reduce the negative impact on the natural environ- process of printing buildings has many advantages: ment (Núñez-Cacho, Górecki, Molina & Corpas- the time needed to build a building is reduced by 30%, -Iglesias, 2018). Introduction of a closed-loop mate- the workload of construction workers is reduced by rial is a difficult challenge for the entire construction 80%, and above all, savings in material reach up to sector, starting from obtaining material, production, 60% (Yihe, 2019). Ma Yi, the founder of WinSun, said through a construction project and construction itself, „Industrial waste from demolished buildings destroys and ending with the deconstruction and recycling of our environment, but thanks to 3D printing we are able the building. The implementation of CE in construc- to recycle construction waste and transform it into tion is associated with overcoming a number of bar- new ones. This will create a much safer workplace for riers that prevent efficient material circulation. To workers and significantly reduce construction costs” overcome the barriers, there are increasing scientific (Russon, 2014). works which discuss the research problem in detail. The StoneCycling website www.stonecycling.com [access 15.03.2021]. 70 architectura.actapol.net Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 According to the research by Fritz Benachio, Carmo Building materials resulting from recycling Duarte Freitas and Tavares (2020), the number of The discussed examples of eco-innovations prove that publications on CE in the construction sector in 2019 it is possible to use waste not only from construction has doubled relative to the previous year (confirming but also from other economy sectors to the implemen- the increased interest in research). Among the numer- tation in new building materials. Examples of bricks ous scientific works describing barriers, the publica- from plastic waste (Winkless, 2016), 3D printing of tion of Mahpour (2018) should be pointed out, which a building with recycled materials (Yihe, 2019), and identified 22 potential causes of barriers and grouped facade tiles made from recycling materials (Stonecy- them in three categories: behavioural, technical or cling, 2021) prove that a new construction material legal deficiencies. resulting from recycling may qualitatively not differ Further part of the discussion is divided into three from materials produced from natural raw materials. potential barriers occurring in particular in residen- The problem in the implementation of new building tial facilities: (i) social responsibility of the construc- materials resulting from the recycling of raw materials tion industry, (ii) recycling of building materials, (iii) may be uncertainty in the prices of material resources building material resulting from recycling. in the future (Morgan, 2014). The building material of the initial low value may not be subjected to recycling Social responsibility of the construction industry – mostly for economic reasons and the cost of process- The deconstruction of the building in aim to obtain ing. Investors having cheap construction materials from building materials for reuse and recycling causes natural resources may not decide to cover additional positive social factors. Social responsibility factor is costs and use a recycling material (Tebbatt et al., 2017). understood here as a conscious realization of build- ings by public administration companies using CE CONCLUSIONS concept (Núñez-Cacho et al., 2018). In addition, the deconstruction and recycling of the building may af- Times in which construction waste was treated as un- fect the improvement of the living conditions of the necessary trash have come to an end. Recycling materi- local community – the activities of the Delta Institute als will be valued on a par with natural resources, what are examples (2018, 2021). will reduce their extraction. It seems to be important to use the recycled waste materials from disassembly and Recycling of building materials renovation buildings, because 1/4 of them can be di- Effective sourcing of building materials for recycling rectly used in another construction site. The construc- and reuse requires analysing the barriers responsi- tion waste market has a great potential to introduce ble for the technical solution. These barriers can be innovative and systematic eco-friendly technologies divided into three levels: materials, product, and/or – which reuse materials from waste. The future of the building (Tebbatt, Osmani, Thorpe & Thornback, construction industry is gradually moving towards 2017). Effective deconstruction of the building and in a closed material loop, causing a reduction in the acquiring recycling materials will be possible thanks necessary financial outlays and the time needed to to the preparation of a suitable construction project, build and furnish an apartment. Recycling of building including its adaptability, flexibility, and final decon- materials has a positive effect on the economy, local struction plan. It should also be emphasized how im- community, and waste management. The idea of CE portant it is to make preliminary recycling on the site reduces the demand for energy needed to extract the of built waste. Thanks to which it will be possible to raw material, transport and its production – reducing directly use them with low cost and energy effort, e.g. the negative impact on the natural environment – and in the warehouses of building materials . respects the need for future generations. 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Towards a Circular Econ- 044452787-5.00095-0 omy: A Case Study of Waste Conversion into Housing Smol, M., Kulczycka, J., Henclik, A., Gorazda, K. & Units in Cotonou, Benin. Urban Science, 2 (4), 118. Wzorek, Z. (2015). The possible use of sewage sludge https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2040118 architectura.actapol.net 73 Mazur, Ł. K. (2021). Circular economy in housing architecture: methods of implementation. Acta Sci. Pol. Architectura, 20 (2), 65–74. doi: 10.22630/ASPA.2021.20.2.15 GOSPODARKA OBIEGU ZAMKNIĘTEGO W ARCHITEKTURZE MIESZKANIOWEJ: ANALIZA METOD WDROŻENIA STRESZCZENIE Celem prezentowanego artykułu badawczego jest przeanalizowanie możliwości wprowadzenia budow- nictwa mieszkaniowego na bardziej zrównoważony poziom poprzez zastosowanie koncepcji gospodar- ki o obiegu zamkniętym (GOZ). Mieszkalnictwo jest ważną częścią gospodarki i sektora budowlanego. Wzrost w tym sektorze wynika ze wzrostu ludności na obszarach zurbanizowanych i potrzeby modernizacji istniejących zasobów. Współczesne realizacje środowisk mieszkaniowych powinny uwzględniać zmniej- szenie negatywnego wpływu na środowisko naturalne. Możliwe jest to poprzez zmniejszenie zapotrzebo- wania na materiały budowlane pochodzące z surowców naturalnych i rozpoczęcie stosowania materiałów pochodzących z recyklingu. Założenie to należy do podstawowego zadania GOZ, w której następuje obieg zamknięty materiału budowlanego poprzez jego powtórne wykorzystanie. W celu omówienia podstawo- wych założeń pracy zastosowano metody badań niereaktywne: metoda badawcza desk research. Przegląd publikacji naukowych i raportów obejmowały: (a) podstawy koncepcji GOZ, (b) podstawy koncepcji GOZ w sektorze budowlanym, (c) podstawy koncepcji GOZ w budownictwie mieszkaniowym. W drugiej części badań analizowano innowacyjne sposoby wykorzystania materiałów pochodzących z recyklingu do rea- lizacji nowych materiałów budowlanych. Przedstawiono ekoinnowacje: (a) cegły z odpadów z tworzyw sztucznych, (b) druk 3D budynku z materiałów pochodzących z recyklingu, (c) płytki fasadowe wykonane z materiałów recyklingowych. W dyskusji omówiono trzy potencjalne bariery występujące w realizacjach środowisk mieszkaniowych: (1) odpowiedzialność społeczna przemysłu budowlanego, (2) recykling ma- teriałów budowlanych, (3) materiał budowlany powstały z surowca z recyklingu. Wnioski końcowe pracy potwierdzają słuszność wdrożenia koncepcji GOZ w budownictwie mieszkaniowym. Słowa kluczowe: architektura, architektura mieszkaniowa, miasto, demontaż budynków, ekologiczne inno- wacje, gospodarka o obiegu zamkniętym 74 architectura.actapol.net

Journal

Acta Scientiarum Polonorum Architecturade Gruyter

Published: Jun 1, 2021

Keywords: architecture; housing; city; building disassembly; eco-innovation; circular economy

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