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DURABILITY, REPEATED RE-USE, AND A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Currently much of human’s consumption is a linear process where we use something once then dispose of it. The concept of a circular economy is that we re-use materials repeatedly, ideally without any loss of value. Materials and products are not used once and sent to landfill.

For a brief overview of creating a circular economy investigate the Ellen MacArthur Foundation website or YouTube videos.

Concepts that support reduction of materials to landfill include:

  1. Lean specification of materials. 

  2. Selecting durable materials. 

  3. Select materials that can be re-used - ideally up-cycled or as a minimum recycled. Avoid use of single use materials eg avoid treated pine.

  4. Design to allow for disassembly by relying on mechanical connections rather than glues.

  5. Be selective in the use of highly bespoke items. Some highly bespoke items can be harder to re-use. For example minimise the use of shaped desks in office fitouts – rectangular desks can be re-sold.