IStructE Releases Circular Economy and Reuse Guide – Latest

IStructE Releases Circular Economy and Reuse Guide

IStructE Releases Circular Economy and Reuse Guide

The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) has published a new book, 'Circular economy and reuse: guidance for designers', written by Elliott Wood’s Head of Sustainability, Penny Gowler, with contributions from more than twenty leading engineers and sustainability experts.

The book is a compelling call to action for architects, engineers, and designers to embrace the circular economy and realise the business case for re-using materials both today and in the future.

IStructE’s book offers a comprehensive outline of how we can tackle climate change and resource depletion by reusing materials and buildings today and strategically plan for future reuse by designing adaptable and demountable structures.

The guidance is split into four sections:

  • Get Informed outlines the principles of a circular economy and demonstrates how transitioning to this will reduce the negative impacts of our existing linear economy.
  • Reuse of existing buildings has five chapters that explain how structural engineers can maximise positive impacts by retaining existing built assets for as long as possible, assessing their condition and potential for reuse and adaptation.
  • Reuse of materials explains how to use reclaimed structural materials in new designs, covering the legal and insurance considerations for reuse of components and materials.
  • And the final section Designing for the future describes the principles to follow when designing a building to be completely adaptable and demountable in the future.

Speaking of the business case for reuse, Penny says: “It’s important we start to use our buildings as material banks. Whilst we need to prioritise reuse of buildings in situ - and we dedicate a quarter of the book to this topic - we now need to be reusing the materials that come out of buildings demolished or deconstructed, rather than business-as-usual recycling. This guide will tell you how to go about this for the main structural materials.”

As activists for change, Elliott Wood is proud of Penny’s work to shift our industry to a circular built environment. The publication stands as a testament to the power of collaboration in influencing positive change and supporting our mission of Engineering a Better Society.

This essential resource for the built environment is available for order now. Find out more here: