Circular economy and reuse: guidance for designers

Duncan Baker-Brown, Penny Gowler, Will Arnold

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


Duncan Baker-Brown authored the 1,500 word foreword entitled 'Making a circular economy happen'.

Brand new guidance from the Institution of Structural Engineers focusing on the circular economy being part of the answer to tackling climate change in the built environment.

The circular economy requires materials and elements to be retained at their highest value for as long as possible. Structural engineers are uniquely placed to facilitate the re-use of not just entire buildings and infrastructure, but also individual elements. Designers can have the greatest impact at the start of a project when strategic decisions are being made. This publication comprises four parts, and provides actionable guidance for incorporating circular principles on engineering projects; enabling structural engineers to take the initiative on this critical transition by leading clients and project teams through the process.

Part 1 explains the concepts, outlines how to overcome the barriers to adoption, and quantifies the impact.
Part 2 focuses on the feasibility, analysis, design and construction aspects of reusing existing buildings.
Part 3 contains detailed material-specific subsections and develops the thinking around reusing components and assemblies, audits, and the legal considerations to be aware of.
Part 4 covers the circular economy principles to be used when designing new builds and includes a chapter on resource-led design or ‘designing with what is available’ – skills which structural engineers will need to develop to transition to a fully circular world.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon UK
Number of pages331
ISBN (Electronic)9781906335618
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2023


  • Circular Economy
  • Circular cities
  • Reuse-oriented redesign
  • structural design
  • Sustainable Design


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