Knowledge - RISC

Circular Economy and the Construction Industry

Created By RISC | 3 weeks ago

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Did you know which industries have the highest environmental impact? ​

Building is a sector that consumes a lot of natural resources and has a huge impact on the world. Mountains are blown up to make cement. Trees are felled and rocks, sand, and minerals are extracted to make building materials. Demolition also uses lots of energy and creates waste. Not to mention the massive amount of plastic packaging that covers supplies during transport and is thrown away as soon as it reaches the construction site. Great quantities of plastic garbage and waste from construction sites mostly go to landfills. ​

We can reduce the impact of these processes if we understand resource consumption at every step. ​"Circular Economy" is a term in growing use across a variety of businesses. It involves using resources wisely. Every process must generate the least amount of trash, which must be recycled or turned into new resources. ​

Effective implementation is the challenging part. It starts with designing and planning the product's lifecycle for greatest efficiency from production to end of life, so products can be restored or recycled instead of being disposed of as waste at the end of use. We must first start with changing the mindset and the conventional way of thinking in the linear economy, where many people compete for resources. ​

Here’s how RISC has applied its research on the circular economy in real estate projects: ​

Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA): This method involves putting building trash piles into a grinder, separating metal scraps and removing the concrete scraps for use as concrete floor mixture. Foundation piles are recycled and used as a component of concrete floors, reducing waste piles while advancing the circular economy. ​

Recycled Plastic Road: This procedure involves combining leftover plastic to fortify asphalt roads to reduce plastic waste and raise its value by upcycling. Plastic waste is crushed and mixed with asphalt. ​

Upcycling Curbside & Walkway: These items were created in accordance with the circular economy to lessen the impact of plastic trash in the community and give it a higher value. The products must undergo standard certification testing and meet TIS 827-2531 and 378-2531 requirements to attain quality comparable to materials on the market and to be practical without having an adverse effect on people or the environment. ​

Many operators will find it tough to integrate the circular economy into the construction sector since it would transform current approaches. Effective collaboration by the public and commercial sectors is essential to advancing a circular economy in the building industry:​

• Governmental organizations must assist, set policies, and inspire entrepreneurs. ​
• Private-sector developers need to be more concerned with society and the environment and have a sustainable perspective. ​
• Architects, engineers, designers, building contractors, and entrepreneurs producing various construction materials need to modify their design concept products and services to achieve sustainnovation.​

By taking action on each process, we can reduce the severity of the climate change catastrophe and extend the lifespan of this planet. The "Circular Economy in Construction Industry (CECI) Network" is a group of allies in the construction industry in Thailand. MQDC is one of the 23 partners working to advance the idea of the circular economy. This is a fantastic place to start if you want to eventually transform Thailand's construction sector and move it toward sustainable growth. ​

Story by: Tiptaptim Bhumibhanit, Senior Sustainable Designer, RISC

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