Enhancing Circularity in the Construction Industry: Altering Value Creation Systems for Material Reuse
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- Master of Science 
The construction industry is a significant contributor to global waste and resource depletion. Transitioning to a circular economy model, where materials are kept in the loop for as long as possible, is crucial for reducing the industry’s environmental impact. This study examines how the industry's value creation system could be altered to facilitate increased reuse of materials, a core principle of the circular economy. The study identifies several key actors within the construction industry: clients, architects, consulting engineers, contractors, and policy makers. Each actor group has its unique challenges in transitioning to a circular model, requiring tailored approaches to foster circular practices. Three primary barriers and challenges to material reuse were identified: 1) documentation and regulations, 2) costs, and 3) competence and culture. A lack of standard documentation and regulations makes reusing materials complex and risky. Economic hurdles also exist due to the current cost structures that favor new materials. Moreover, the industry is hampered by a gap in knowledge and a culture resistant to change, which inhibits the shift towards a circular model. The study proposes three crucial activities to overcome these barriers and drive circular practices: 1) changing regulations and incentives, 2) creating a robust marketplace for reuse, and 3) developing effective take-back systems. By addressing these activities, they can navigate the challenges and enhance material reuse which can then lead to a more sustainable construction industry. Overall, the study provides theoretical advancements and practical insights into the transformation needed within the construction industry to enhance material reuse. This can equip industry actors with the knowledge and understanding required to shape the industry’s move towards more circular practices. The study has explored what's needed for this transition, suggesting promising avenues for future research within a circular construction industry, such as design of buildings for future reuse and life-cycle analyses.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Strategy - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2023