A Circular Future in Construction

Ann-Sofie Rasmussen & Kristine Bernat Ottesen

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


The purpose of this study is to explore what opportunities the construction industry pursues in addressing the challenges it faces in the adoption of circular business models. The chosen area of research is motivated by an interest in circular economy in the highly waste-generating and natural resource consuming construction industry. While there is great awareness to these issues and a strong focus on the transition towards circularity, the industry faces major challenges in the implementation of these principles. With point of departure in the pragmatic research philosophy, this thesis studies circular business models in the construction industry through appropriate methodology. By following an abductive research approach through the iterative process between theory and data, this study applies qualitative data and relevant theoretical framework on circular business models to answer the research question. This takes shape of a multiple-case study of Lendager Group’s and 3XN/GXN’s business models through the theoretical framework of the Circular Business Model Canvas with the purpose of identifying challenges and opportunities in their adoption of circular principles. Through thematic data analysis on the basis of initial analytical results, this study demonstrates that the construction industry faces challenges regarding the long lifespan of buildings, lack of transparency and lack of financial incentive in itstransition towards circular economy. Circular design is established as an opportunity to address the challenges regarding the long lifespan of buildings, while digitalization is recognized as an opportunity to address the lack of transparency in the construction industry. The last aggregated dimension, the lack of financial incentive challenge, is found to be paramount and infiltrate the remaining challenges and is therefore reserved for later discussion. From an industry perspective, the relationships between the derived challenges and opportunities are further investigated. It is found that the circular product design strategy, Design for Disassembly, addresses the longevity challenge by enabling closing material loops and extending the useful life of buildings. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that digitalization addresses the lack of transparency in framework conditions and actors by creating favorable terms for innovation as well as supporting information sharing and collaboration among actors. In conclusion, this study establishes that circular design and digitalization are perceived as potential opportunities to address some of the challenges, that the construction industry faces in the adoption of circular business models. Thereby, these opportunities are pursued to increase the circularity in the industry.

UddannelserKandidatuddannelse i Innovation og Entrepreneurship. Strategisk Design og Entrepreneurship, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider177
VejledereChristian Garmann Johnsen