A Conceptual Framework for a Digital Circular Built Environment

The Data Pipeline, Passport Generator and Passport Pool

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This article proposes a conceptual model to address the structural holes in data sharing between (and beyond) actors in the circular built environment supply chain and monitoring circular economy progress. Current digital innovations such as material passports and Building Information Modelling applications aim at increasing quality and availability of information about materials and their application in buildings to facilitate future reuse or recycling, based on the idea of buildings-as-material-banks. Although these approaches offer great potential to recover value from building materials, they mainly focus on a single building and have a limited capacity to exchange data with other supply chain actors in a timely manner. In this article, we argue that there is a need for an integrated digital infrastructure that expands beyond the industries and countries for enabling a connected global circular economy. Therefore, this article proposes an initial conceptualization of a digital infrastructure towards achieving a circular built environment. The proposed model puts forward three interoperable components: The Data Pipeline, Passport Generator, and Passport Pool, based on emerging technologies such as blockchain technology, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.