Circular Economy Development in the Construction Sector in Japan

Roope Husgafvel*, Daishi Sakaguchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The circular economy (CE) is about a system-level change towards sustainability, and it aims at keeping products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, covering both technical and biological cycles. This study aimed at exploring, discovering, describing, and synthesizing the characteristics of CE development in the construction sector in Japan based on the perspectives of sectoral organizations and focusing on the following themes: (1) sustainable production; (2) sustainable consumption; (3) creation and maintenance of value in a CE; (4) CE innovations; (5) CE of material and energy use; (6) technological, economic, and social barriers to CE; (7) CE guidance; and (8) specific CE aspects in the construction sector. This study applied a qualitative research approach, including a questionnaire survey as the specific method. This study addressed a gap in the research and helps to improve understanding of the CE development priorities based on the perspectives of organizations operating in or related to the construction sector in Japan. The findings indicate that the priority CE development focus areas in the construction sector in Japan encompass, for example, the use of sustainable and renewable raw materials; consumer awareness; and the design, use, and manufacturing of sustainable, recyclable, reusable, and repairable products, components, and materials. The barriers to CE that need to be overcome encompass, for example, the lack of general knowledge about circular economy opportunities and of seeing the “big picture” as well as issues related to economic benefits and the development of CE and sustainability-oriented products, components, and materials. Particularly important CE aspects in the construction sector include the maintenance of existing buildings; sustainability and the long-life cycles of products, components, and materials; CE-oriented product design; and sustainability criteria and cooperation between parties covering the whole life cycle of construction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Issue number1
Early online date21 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • circular economy
  • construction sector
  • Japan


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