Circular Construction for Urban Development

Download the full publication for free or buy the physical book

Download all the open-source resources

Circularity Construction for Urban Development is an open-source project and all the resources can be downloaded for free. We hope they will be valuable to you - and that you will help us share them with relevant people and organisations.


A digital download of the Manual

Download (EN)


The Toolbox contains the ‘Planetary Boundary Tool’, ‘Upfront Carbon Tool’, ‘Existing Reuse Tool’, and  ‘Circularity Index tool’
Download (EN)
Taking a system view is  key to scaling a circular built  environment, allowing us to apply  circular economy principles at  various levels — from materials and buildings to entire cities—  and across different industry  domains, such as planning, design,  manufacturing, construction, and  building maintenance.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

A system to guide ambitious urban actors

What is Circular Construction?

Circular Construction for Urban Development is based on the theory of the Circular Economy developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The main theme of the book is to explore the synergies that arise by combining circularity with industrialized construction.

Circular Construction for Urban Development introduces principles, methods, and tools. These include principles such as design for disassembly, material and building passports, and circular business models, along with a new perspective on circular life cycle assessment.

Finally, tools are presented to measure the degree of circular construction and to translate planetary boundaries into concrete targets for individual buildings. These tools can estimate upfront CO2 savings through material choices and the reuse and transformation of existing buildings.

Why is the manual relevant?

With this book, we have attempted to outline an industrial circular construction practice. Current principles, methods, and tools are provided, and new ideas are introduced.

If we want a future with circular construction where today's waste can become tomorrow's resources, we need to challenge current practices. We must rethink how we build, from materials and building systems to forms of collaboration and business models.

A beautiful aspect of urban development is that all the materials, structures, and buildings we create will stand as physical testimonies to the future we want to see. This cannot be achieved through isolated projects. We need the entire industry's ecosystem to commit to solving this task.

We believe in "Rights to Copy"

Circular Construction is a manual with accompanying circular tools for the benefit of the entire industry. Therefore, both the book and the tools can be downloaded for free, and we hope you will read it, use them, and share your experiences with the rest of the industry.

Time is ticking, and the temperature of our planet continues to rise – it is not enough to create good solutions just for ourselves. We believe in "rights to copy" instead of copyrights and hope that this publication can contribute to the journey towards a circular and sustainable construction practice and approach to developing our cities.

Partners & contributors

Circular Construction for Urban Development is the result of a collaborative work involving leading researchers and actors from the built environment.

Contact information

General inquiries

We’d love to hear from you - want to collaborate or use the Circular Construction for Urban Development in your next project? Let’s talk!
Get in touch

Home.Earth is a real estate company committed to doing things differently

We founded Home.Earth in 2021 to show that we can develop cities in balance with the interests of people, planet, and profit.

We offer homes and spaces designed to enhance quality of life for our tenants. We build and operate them with a much lower climate footprint than your average real estate company.

... and by working systematically with sustainability in everything we do, we are developing a future-proof real estate portfolio - ready to take on the challenge in all of Europe

Read more

Download resources

Download all the open-source resources for free here


Circular Construction for Urban Development / the Book

The ‘Circular Construction for Urban Development – a System’ is available for free, by digital  download. Please share it with relevant stakeholders in your professional network.


Circular Construction for Urban Development / the Tools

The four tools ‘Planetary Boundary Tool’, ‘Upfront Carbon Tool’, ‘Existing Reuse Tool’, and  ‘Circularity Index tool’ can be downloaded following the QR-code on the opposite page.
Download (EN)

Stanford University

Learning about circularity from Bill McDonough and Ellen MacArthur immediately resonated with me. As a practically-minded academic, I quickly began exploring how to implement this inspiring concept in the built environment. This book transforms the vision of a circular built environment into reality through the application of digitalisation and industrialisation methods. It’s essential reading for leaders in the built environment!

Andrew Fanning
Research & Data Analysis Lead
Doughnut Economics Action Lab

BoKlok Housing

In both my research and during my time as Director for Research and Development at BoKlok Housing I have learned the importance of a customer-focused, systematic and repetitive approach to ensure high quality and low price in modular construction. In this book I find that these same themes are the enablers also for circular building systems designed for takeback and reuse. This book is a must-read for developers, architects or any other industry practitioners, who want to learn about the architectural and environmental potential of industrialised circular construction.

Jerker Lessing
Former Director for Research and Development at BoKlok HousingAdjunct Professor, Stanford UniversityCEO and Founder of Lessing Innovation