Investigating the circular economy as a solution for construction waste: Challenges and opportunities

Lucien El Asmar, Namho Cho, Mounir El Asmar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The construction industry results in a large amount of material waste, most of which currently ends up in landfills. This study aims to find new ways to reuse waste materials captured as outputs of construction projects. First, the circular economy (CE) concept is explored. Second, the application of CE as a potential solution for minimizing material waste on construction projects is investigated. To achieve a healthy industrial metabolism, the paper illustrates how a complex industrial ecosystem is one that produces little or no waste and whose constituents can be interdependent. Output ratios from the construction industry are compared with previous literature on material waste, as a foundation to present a cycle of material reuse. Reformulating the traditional input-output system into a more circular concept presents a set of challenges; however, the opportunities and significant impacts to the material cycles and landfills have proven beneficial and some major cities are starting to employ this concept with great success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberSUS-02
JournalProceedings of International Structural Engineering and Construction
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd European and Mediterranean Structural Engineering and Construction Conference, EURO-MED-SEC-2 2018 - Beirut, Lebanon
Duration: Jul 23 2018Jul 28 2018


  • Demolition waste
  • Ecosystem
  • Industrial metabolism
  • Waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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