Next Article in Journal
How Does the Arctic Council Support Conservation of Arctic Biodiversity?
Next Article in Special Issue
Strategies for a Circular Economy in the Construction and Demolition Sector: Identifying the Factors Affecting the Recommendation of Recycled Concrete
Previous Article in Journal
Influence of Brand Image of a Sports Event on the Recommendation of Its Participants
Previous Article in Special Issue
Integration of LCA in the Planning Phases of Adaptive Buildings
Article

Towards Urban Mining—Estimating the Potential Environmental Benefits by Applying an Alternative Construction Practice. A Case Study from Switzerland

1
Technology and Society Laboratory (TSL), Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa), Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, 9014 St. Gallen, Switzerland
2
Circular Construction Lab, Department of Architecture, Cornell AAP, Cornell University, 235E. Sibley Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
3
Fachgebiet Nachhaltiges Bauen, Institut Entwerfen und Bautechnik, Fakultät für Architektur, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Englerstrasse 11, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5041; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125041
Received: 19 May 2020 / Revised: 16 June 2020 / Accepted: 17 June 2020 / Published: 19 June 2020
Modern cities emerged as the main accumulator for primary and waste materials. Recovery of both types from buildings after demolition/disassembly creates a secondary material stream that could relieve pressure from primary resources. Urban mining represents this circular approach, and its application depends on redefining current construction practice. Through the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology and assuming primary resources as step zero of urban mining, this study estimates the impacts and benefits of conventional versus a circular construction practice applied to various buildings with different parameters and the country-level environmental potential savings that could be achieved through this switch in construction practice—using the increase of the residential building stock in Switzerland between 2012 and 2016 as a case study and key values from the experimental unit “Urban Mining and Recycling”, designed by Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel and installed inside the NEST (Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies) research building on the Empa campus in Switzerland. The results exhibit lower total impacts (at least 16% in each examined impact category) at building level and resulting benefits (i.e., 68–117 kt CO2-Eq) at country level over five years, which can be further reduced/increased respectively by using existing or recycled components, instead of virgin materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban mining; life cycle assessment; sustainability; circular economy; building sector urban mining; life cycle assessment; sustainability; circular economy; building sector
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Kakkos, E.; Heisel, F.; Hebel, D.E.; Hischier, R. Towards Urban Mining—Estimating the Potential Environmental Benefits by Applying an Alternative Construction Practice. A Case Study from Switzerland. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5041. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125041

AMA Style

Kakkos E, Heisel F, Hebel DE, Hischier R. Towards Urban Mining—Estimating the Potential Environmental Benefits by Applying an Alternative Construction Practice. A Case Study from Switzerland. Sustainability. 2020; 12(12):5041. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125041

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kakkos, Efstathios, Felix Heisel, Dirk E. Hebel, and Roland Hischier. 2020. "Towards Urban Mining—Estimating the Potential Environmental Benefits by Applying an Alternative Construction Practice. A Case Study from Switzerland" Sustainability 12, no. 12: 5041. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125041

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop