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Journal article

To accelerate the built environment and construction industry's uptake of the circular economy, we can begin by highlighting and publicising the construction industry's closest circular project examples that seem to (unintentionally) utilise recommended circularity principles and frameworks. The Ellen McArthur Foundation's (EMF's) Toolkit for Policy Makers has an easy-to-follow ReSOLVE (REgenerate, Share, Optimise, Loop, Virtualise, Exchange) framework. There are many initiatives in the construction industry to create less wasteful and operationally efficient building lifecycles including BREEAM, LEED, and LEAN etc. as well as design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA), offsite and modular, scan to BIM (Building Information Modelling), Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality (VR), Virtual Design Construction and Digital Twins. In addition, with innovative technologies and digitalisation it is now possible to not only design new buildings with facilities management efficiencies in mind at the onset, but it is also possible to digitalise older and even heritage buildings, built hundreds of years ago. However, whether these initiatives are "circular", remains fragmented in an industry that is unfamiliar with the "circular economy". This paper will extrapolate the EMF's ReSOLVE frameworks through the context of three examples in vastly different formats; a desert lodge in the NamibRand Reserve (Namibia) close to achieving circularity; the tallest modular building in New York City that completely negates notions that pre-fab is undesirable and unattractive; and a large supermarket chain that has used BIM and other digitalisation to increase its operational efficiency, reduce material waste and increase visibility into space availability.

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United Kingdom