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Different Roads to the Same Destination?

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Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are both frameworks for considering the way we interact with the world's resources. Different organizations and institutions across the world have adopted one philosophy or the other. To some, there seems to be little

Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are both frameworks for considering the way we interact with the world's resources. Different organizations and institutions across the world have adopted one philosophy or the other. To some, there seems to be little overlap of the two, and to others, they are perceived as being interchangeable. This paper evaluates Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) and Circular Economy (CE) individually and in comparison to see how truly different these frameworks are from one another. This comparison is then extended into a theoretical walk-through of an SMM treatment of concrete pavement in contrast with a CE treatment. With concrete being a ubiquitous in the world's buildings and roads, as well as being a major constituent of Construction & Demolition waste generated, its analysis is applicable to a significant portion of the world's material flow. The ultimate test of differentiation between SMM and CE would ask: 1) If SMM principles guided action, would the outcomes be aligned with or at odds with CE principles? and conversely 2) If CE principles guided action, would the outcomes be aligned with or at odds with SMM principles? Using concrete pavement as an example, this paper seeks to determine whether or not Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are simply different roads leading to the same destination.

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2017-05

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Role of Circular Economy in the Indigenous Built Environment: An Assessment of Design and Construction Potential of Circular Building Materials in an American Indian Community

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This thesis intends to help inform American Indian nations’ decision making related to housing. The study recognizes the urgent need for housing solutions that fit the needs of a community as well as benefit the overall ecosystem. One model that

This thesis intends to help inform American Indian nations’ decision making related to housing. The study recognizes the urgent need for housing solutions that fit the needs of a community as well as benefit the overall ecosystem. One model that can offer guidance is the Circular Economy (CE) model. A well-thought-out CE process can provide housing solutions that are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. It also stimulates the local economy by strategically introducing positive changes. This research identifies the construction potential of available circular materials as compared to more contemporary building materials. It then recommends a closed-loop circular model that utilizes the community’s existing infrastructure to develop affordable housing. The proposed CE model operates within the built environment, stimulating local employment while catering to the needs of the residents. Such an approach can prove to be beneficial for the local community and perhaps scalable to the global economy.

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2020