Sustainable Built Environments

2013 Edition
| Editors: Vivian Loftness, Dagmar Haase

Resource Repletion, Role of Buildings

Reference work entry

Definition of the Subject

Raw materials scarcity , rising raw materials extraction costs, and biodiversity loss are apparent globally. Recycling of materials is cited as one solution to those problems. However, maintaining the consistent quality of materials is excluded from most traditional sustainability assessments, and current regimes of carbon, emissions, and energy trading are not well designed to account for the quality or value of materials, or the processes for achieving materials recovery and reuse.

The building industry is a large consumer of scarce resources, and because of this, it is regarded as a leading cause of resource depletion. However, at the same time, materials contained in and moving through buildings have been extensively evaluated for their recovery potential [2], and as a result, could be used in a new model where buildings are resource repleters instead of depleters. Materials repletion is a value-based business model that defines new dimensions of quality...

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Portions of this article regarding criteria for the built environment are excerpted from Cradle to Cradle® Criteria for the Built Environment, Mulhall & Braungart, CEO Media 2010, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Reprinted by permission. The authors’ appreciation goes to Yael Steinberg and other EPEA scientists for their input.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katja Hansen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael Braungart
    • 1
    • 2
  • Douglas Mulhall
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbHHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Academic Chair Cradle to Cradle for Innovation and Quality, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands