Circular construction materials have been reused or recycled to reduce waste and promote sustainability. However, while using circular materials in construction has many benefits, logistical challenges must be addressed. Some of the critical logistics challenges with circular construction materials include:
- Sourcing: Finding a reliable and consistent supply of circular materials can be challenging. It requires identifying sources of materials, evaluating their quality and suitability, and ensuring that they meet the necessary regulations and standards.
- Sorting and Processing: Once circular materials are obtained, they need to be sorted and processed to remove contaminants and prepare them for use in construction. This can require specialized equipment and expertise, which may not be readily available.
- Transportation: Transportation of circular materials can be more complex than traditional materials. Circular materials may come from multiple sources with transport requirements and logistics challenges. Specialized transport may be required to ensure materials’ safe and efficient delivery.
- Storage: Storage requirements for circular materials may be different from traditional materials. For example, some recycled materials may require special handling or storage conditions to maintain quality and performance.
- Certification: To ensure the quality and safety of circular materials, they may require certification or testing before construction. This can add to the logistics challenges of using circular materials, requiring additional time and resources.
- Information: To tackle circular challenges, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) are recognized as promising solutions since they provide potential support to CE-oriented decision-making.
Addressing these logistics challenges will require collaboration between stakeholders in the construction industry, including material suppliers, contractors, architects, and policymakers. By working together, it may be possible to overcome these challenges and promote using circular materials in construction, leading to a more sustainable and resilient built environment.
An inspiring project to follow is Circuit. Circular Construction in Regenerative Cities (CIRCuIT) is a collaborative project running from 2019-2023 and involves 31 ambitious partners across the built environment chain in Copenhagen, Hamburg, the Helsinki Region, and Greater London.