Evaluating building circularity in the early design phase

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Facing circular transition challenges, building circularity should be evaluated in the early design phase to reduce the risks of circular and environmental performance problems found in later project phases. However, due to the current design workflow, such practice is hindered because there is not enough information to evaluate building circularity in detail in the early design phases. An improved workflow to emphasize circularity more in the early design phase is thus needed. This research explores the current workflow and designs an improved workflow by developing an automated decision support system to assess early design phase building circularity with limited available information, aiming to improve the working efficiency and efficacy. This automated system helps in data-driven decision-making by integrating different data sources and presenting the calculated results interactively with business intelligence interfaces. The interfaces involve different types of evaluations based on the data availability in both schematic design and detail design sub-phases. It also visualizes the data quality and future scenarios. This system has been designed based on interviews and literature studies, and verified and validated with practitioners. This study serves as a starting point to rethink the workflow to improve circularity with currently available technology.