Circular Building Installations: An Introduction

In this video, Professor Atze Boerstra discusses the current challenges of making building installations more circular.

Main Takeaways

  • The majority of our building service systems are still designed, refurbished, maintained and/ or operated with just three things in mind: energy use, comfort requirements and costs. At the moment, the fact that building installations are metal-intensive is not equally considered. If one calculates the ‘embodied environmental impact’ related to the metals used in these systems, like for instance, steel, chrome, nickel, copper, one finds that sometimes more than 25% of the total environmental impact of a building can be attributed to its electrical and mechanical systems.
  • Transforming the installations sector is challenging: both because remanufactured service systems run the risk of non-compliance with current standards and therefore may be subject to liability, and also because newly produced components are likely to be way more energy efficient than older ones.
  • Current research is looking in technology innovations, but also business models and new contract types.


Atze Boerstra
Atze Boerstra

Prof. Dr. Ir. Atze Boerstra is head of the chair of Building Services Innovation at the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. Since 1996 Boerstra has been director of the research and consultancy firm bba binnenmilieu, an engineering consultancy firm in The Hague specialising in indoor air quality and thermal comfort and its effects on people. He is also a partner at DGMR, the holding of bba. Boerstra is also a member of the scientific advisory committee of CSTB Paris / the Observatoire de la qualité de l’air intérieur (OQAI). As a TU Delft representative, he is affiliated with the Impuls knowledge group of the TVVL (Platform for Man and Technology).

View pure profile

Circularity for Educators

The platform is intended to provide with content on either circularity or pedagogy for and about circularity. It is one of the outcomes of the Circular Impulse Initiative (CII), a project intending to enhance the integration of circularity in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment education. The platform mainly aims to help tutors get better acquainted with circularity in the built environment by providing a series of resources on this subject that they can either view to get better informed or directly share with their students in class or online. A large number of the Faculty's professors and researchers have contributed substantially both in creating a coherent narrative for circularity in the built environment as well as further elaborating on different aspects of it. Besides this one, a new platform for interaction and direct exchange was also established in parallel that we call ‘Educators for Circularity‘. This one offers the opportunity for all of us to meet and share our experiences and learn from one another.

Visit Educators for Circularity