The future of circular environmental impact indicators for cultural heritage buildings in Europe

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


The European building and construction sector is extremely resource-intensive. This makes the renovation of existing buildings, including the adaptive reuse of cultural heritage buildings (ARCH), important for reducing the materials and energy intensity of the sector. Currently, Europe is embarking on a Circular Economy (CE) strategy that directly affects the environmental indicators for buildings and landscapes, including ARCH. However, there is a misalignment between macro-level European CE policy goals and micro-level renovation and management of existing buildings and ARCH. The analysis shows that macro (EU) level indicators are too narrowly defined to effectively guide the implementation of CE at the micro project level for ARCH.
This policy study develops a comprehensive ARCH Circular Environmental Impact Indicator Framework to close this gap by: (1) Defining the research question; (2) Identifying the causal network; and (3) Selecting the best indicators. The study compares Circular Environmental Indicators for ARCH projects to current and developing European management schemes. Best practices in environmental impact assessment at the project level are highlighted for the building and construction sector in Europe.
The proposed new framework is a comprehensive and suitable list of explicitly circular environmental indicators for ARCH. The framework has immediate practical applications for practitioners and policymakers interested in the CE regime for buildings in Europe.
Period10 Jun 202012 Jun 2020
Event titleSustainable Consumption and Social Justice in an Urbanizing World
Event typeUnknown
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 509
  • 201128 Sustainable building
  • 405004 Sustainable agriculture
  • 401905 Renewable resources
  • 502022 Sustainable economics
  • 207106 Renewable energy
  • 105904 Environmental research
  • 211908 Energy research