Circular building design and urban Mining

  Building during demolition Copyright: © Free License



Stanimira Markova

Leitung FG Zukunfttechnologien Gebäudenachhaltigkeit


+49 241 80 93860




Short description

Learn to explore and research the principles and effects of circular building design and the factors for the activation of urban mining in the built environment by applying and exploring scientific methods on scientifically relevant data.


Resource consumption and resource scarcity together with climate change are the most critical challenges our generation and the generations to come will face. Architects, engineers and researchers in architecture and buildings have a special contribution and responsibility in this matter:

The buildings and cities we create consume alone more than 50% of the global material resources, produce more than 40% of the greenhouse gasses because of the way they are designed. Also because of the current standards in building design virtually all utilised building materials are turned into waste, causing more than 65% of the globally produced waste. This waste is lost resources, lost forever for the next generations.

The paradox is, that the amount of various materials we have accumulated in buildings already significantly exceeds the amount of naturally available raw materials in many instances. So why don’t we build buildings and cities in a way, so that we access and reuse the materials, which we have already utilised, rather than to further exhaust natural resources and turn them into waste? This is called urban mining and the building design which enables urban mining is the circular building design.

Some of the research questions science is aiming to explore in this matter are as follows:

  • How do we define and activate urban mining; what are the requirements and conditions to realise and activate it in the built environment
  • What are the scientific methods and basics behind applied circular designs.
  • Which factors in the building design and the building life cycle enable and/or inhibit material and product circularity.

What you will learn:

  • You will learn to formulate scientific questions and to structure your research to ensure that you achieve unbiased and comprehensive research findings
  • You will learn to apply scientific methods, to collect, analyse, scrutinise and apply scientific data
  • You will meet and talk to the people throughout the building life cycle to learn what enables and inhibits circularity of the different types of material in every building’s life cycle phase
  • You will learn about design methods that will help you boost the circularity potential of materials, products and buildings.
  • You will investigate the potential to change the current status quo by establishing, exploring, and comparing urban mining scenarios.


This class spreads over two terms.


Start 08 April 2022 at 1 pm
April 22
06 May
May 20
June 03
June 17
01 July
End 15. July

Class language

The class language is English.