Construction and refurbishment projects require many decisions regarding the building configuration and choice of building products and components. In order to support decision-making processes in an effective way, the performance and added value of design options for the user(s) and society should be carefully considered before making a selection. The Circular Building Assessment (CBA) approach has been developed to evaluate the potential whole life sequences of using reclaimed products instead of new (reused content), implementing desing for deconstruction principles (increased reuse potential), and extending the life of buildings through increased adaptability and flexibility (improved transformation capacity). Such an assessment requires a multiple life cycle approach, in which aspects, such as environmental impacts, financial costs, health consequences and social value are modelled.
The context of each building or asset is very important in determining the optimal outcomes across these aspects, as is the data availability from early concept through to detailed design stage. Enabling data acquisition and making certain decisions early in the design process have been key in delivering a user-friendly CBA software platform. The prototype platform simplifies the Circular Bulding Assessment process, whereby building and building product data are extracted via building information model export files, materials passports and other supporting databases. This data is combined to automatically calculate and report circular building design scenarios compared to a business as usual, linear, baseline scenario. Further work to develop automated, commercially available, CBA software will enable this decision making support for clients, designers and their advisors to be readily accessible.
The Circular Building Assessment prototype (CBA) is one of the tools developed under the EU funded project BAMB (Buildings as Material Banks). For more information about BAMB see bamb2020.eu.