Leading engineering consultancy WSP have released a paper as part of their Future Ready research based on consultation with organisations across sectors that could decrease time and costs in the construction industry by cutting resource use by 23%.


WSP releases recommendations for resource-efficient, circular design

Leading engineering consultancy WSP have released a paper as part of their Future Ready research based on consultation with organisations across sectors that could decrease time and costs in the construction industry by cutting resource use by 23%.

Circular thinking for increased efficiency and sustainability

The paper offers ten practical recommendations on circular design from WSP and supporting organisations, including ArcelorMittal, for ‘the implementation of resource-efficient, circular thinking in the built environment and infrastructure sectors at scale’.

Resources used in construction usually function in a linear form. At the end of their life cycle, resources are destroyed or removed and while some are recycled, most are wasted. This is far from cost-efficient or sustainable.

According to David Symons, UK Director of Sustainability at WSP, “The construction industry is the largest user of resources in the UK economy today, so it needs to take rapid action. We have to do something different and these 10 actions from WSP and supporting organisations show how the industry is stepping up and taking a leadership position itself.”

Call for action

The paper proposes changes in four key areas: skills, standards & policy, finance & procurement, and records & evidence. In addition, it calls on a wide range of sectors to take part such as government, education & training, EPDs, industry standards, waste strategy, and storing & sharing knowledge of resource-efficient designs.

Practicalities for the future

Circular design thinking with ‘adaptable, modular design for building and infrastructure and new business models, such as leasing materials’, are necessary if countries like the UK want to meet government targets and double their resource productivity by 2050.

Author of the paper and WSP consultant George Baker adds that “It makes complete sense to embed these recommendations into government policy now. They focus on the delivery of a key objective of the Industrial Strategy, the 25 Year Environment Plan and the Clean Growth Strategy.”