The Mayor of London has published ground-breaking guidance that will help tackle embodied carbon in new buildings and reduce construction waste.
The London Plan Guidance Circular Economy Statements puts circular economy principles at the heart of designing new buildings, requiring buildings that can more easily be dismantled and adapted over their lifetime. It treats building materials as resources rather than waste, and puts in place a clear hierarchy, prioritising the retention of existing structures above demolition, where this is the more sustainable and appropriate approach.
The guidance outlines six circular economy (CE) principles, which should be a fundamental part of the building design process, as follows:
building in layers – ensuring that different parts of the building are accessible and can be maintained and replaced where necessary
designing out waste – ensuring that waste reduction is planned in from project inception to completion, including consideration of standardised components, modular build, and reuse of secondary products and materials
designing for longevity
designing for adaptability or flexibility
designing for disassembly
using systems, elements or materials that can be reused and recycled.