A circular economy is one in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.
The London Plan 2021 requires all referable developments to submit a Circular Economy Statement with their planning application. London Boroughs are encouraged to set lower thresholds, and a number now request circular economy statements for major applications. We we believe this requirement will radiate outside of the London Plan area in the short to medium-term, with local authorities recognising the importance of circularity as a matter for consideration with planning applications.
A circular economy requires developers and design teams to fundamentally change the way they design buildings. ‘Circular Thinking’ encourages innovative and long-term behaviour to be promoted in the buildings they are designing. This includes the concept of building in ‘layers’, enabling buildings to be designed with service life and replacement as a feature of the design philosophy. This will help to reduce the impacts of future resource use.
Through the adoption of circular principles, developments will benefit from lower construction costs, greater energy efficiency, less waste and reduced build and maintenance time. Establishing the link between circular thinking and cost optimisation is still within its infancy.
Our team of sustainability experts are able to help you to establish principles of circular economy and help you develop strategies for your developments, finding innovative and cost effective solutions which can help to secure planning success. We combine the support with whole life carbon assessments to provide a holistic approach to sustainable buildings.
Embedding Circular Thinking in Projects
Our strategic approach enables us to engage with project teams to define a project specific baseline, and then develop and agree actions through stakeholder engagement to measurably reduce impacts.
Key Benefits of a Circular Economy Strategy
Our approach helps to:
Successful Validation – CE Statements are required for planning validation for a number of London Boroughs and for referable applications to the GLA. Envison’s expertise through the planning process can help demonstrate alignment with London Plan Policy SI7, ‘Reducing waste and supporting the circular economy‘.
Optimise Costs – Getting project stakeholders in the mindset of circularity should deliver capital costs savings by following the principles of avoidance and optimisation, over removal and replacement. This should save on material, waste removal and transport costs.
Support Accreditation – Embedding circularity principles in the development will bring more meaning to BREEAM Accreditation, helping to deliver key credits such as responsible sourcing, construction waste management, direct reuse and recycling, resource efficiency, durability, materials efficiency and life cycle impact.
Deliver ESG Ambitions – Supporting property funds and real estate businesses report against their own net zero pathways, TCFD risk management and GRESB disclosures.
If you would like to know more, please contact Charlotte Brewin