Documenting Reuse processes for the circular construction

With this project, we want to advance consumer education about building with secondary materials, make knowledge simple, understandable and accessible, and thus increase the acceptance of reuse in construction.


IKEA Stiftung


Superuse Studios


March-September 2021

The challenge

Buildings have a significant impact on the environment, climate and quality of life. One third of global resource consumption and almost half of energy consumption is accounted for by the building sector. In Germany, the sector devours more than 50 percent of the mineral resources available annually, even 90 percent from domestic extraction. Until now, sustainable building has been equated primarily with the use of natural, resource-conserving or renewable building materials.

Our approach

Circular Berlin has teamed up with different partners to demonstrate the potential of using secondary materials for the construction of buildings. The project focuses mainly on understanding the processes behind this innovative method of construction. For example, how to source secondary materials and integrate them into the design of buildings. One of the major challenges for all those involved in construction is the lacking knowledge about the specifics of circularity and how it differs from other sustainable approaches in construction. Furthermore, there are few reference examples of what to start with when implementing projects with such materials. Our team will document, visually represent and explain approaches and established strategies of different sponsors, architectural offices and companies.

The outcomes

The results will be documented in the form of process description, so that every stakeholder in the construction value chain can follow it and start the realisation of the project with the secondary materials.

The prepared content will then become part of an exhibition and further broader dissemination.

Further steps

For the next steps we want to expand the glossary for the circular economy in construction so that it becomes the standard working definition in the industry.

Furthermore, we will aim to document other processes relevant for the circular economy in construction and make this knowledge accessible for diverse actors in the sector.

Project contact person

Dina Padalkina c copy

Dina Padalkina

Founder & CEO, City & Built Environment Lead

Email | LinkedIn

Julius Schäufele

Julius Schäufele

Built Environment team: circular construction processes

Email | LinkedIn