The Circular Building: the most advanced reusable building yet


A building designed and constructed out of fully re-useable components, is being showcased as part of the London Design Festival to demonstrate how circular economy thinking can be applied to the built environment.


Developed by Arup, Frener & Reifer, BAM Construction and The Built Environment Trust the prototype seeks to explore how the industry can work towards zero waste. Typically, the construction industry operates within a linear economy of ‘make, use, dispose’ yet unlike most structures, the Circular Building is designed for all the elements to be dis-assembled and re-used.

This full-scale prototype is intelligently designed and constructed with materials that can be removed with minimum damage, helping each component to retain its value. Digital technology is used to ‘tag’ all items, including everything from window frames to individual fixings, each with a unique QR code containing information allowing it to be reused.

All the data collected from the build can be viewed using a Building Information Model. This virtual ‘Materials Database’ helps to make the project an excellent example of how to design and build using circular economy principles. A high percentage of materials and products sourced with a ‘cradle to cradle’ design ethos have been donated by a number of partners, collaborating on this prototype.

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