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Research Insight 02: Circular economy principles for building services
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Research Insight 02: Circular economy principles for building services

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This document introduces circular economy principles for mechanical, electrical and public health (MEP) systems, building on the work presented in CIBSE TM56: Resource efficiency of building services. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate the opportunities, barriers to implementation and potential value of circular economy thinking when applied to building services. 

The findings presented are based on the research project Servicing the Circular Economy conducted by Arup and University College London (UCL), sponsored by Schneider Electric and supported by AECOM. The project investigated the application of circular economy principles to the MEP systems of UCL’s new Marshgate building. The findings are intended to provide an example of how to use circular economy thinking in the project environment, and as such are envisaged to be relevant to most if not all projects. 


Topics covered include:

  • What is a circular economy?
  • Key issues faced by the industry 
  • Key findings
  • The five circular economy scenarios:
  • Joint venture 6
  • Universal building 
  • Passive
  • Pre-loved
  • Recover
  • The importnace of early engagement
  • Collaboration
  • Industry evolution
  • Moving beyond recycling