Our Position on Circularity

The ‘Scales to Aspects’ Model: Framing Circularity in the Built Environment

Circularity is still a concept in-the-making. So, how does one plan education in this uncertainty? We suggest that this happens by contextualizing the concept within a space that includes what is currently known about it but also has the ability to transcend the limits of these notions. Modelling is a necessary condition for creating meaning. The ‘Scales to Aspects’ model represents our attempt to design a canvas for carrying out research and contextualizing our research findings. In this video, Tillmann explains how the model works and its potential to help our meaning making processes.

Main Takeaways

  • The ‘Scales to Aspects’ model currently includes the six scales of Materials, Components, Buildings, Neighborhoods, Cities and Regions and an equal number of aspects: Technology, Design, Management, Economy, Resource Flows, and Stakeholders.
  • Circular performance relates to multiple scales at a time.
  • The focus of the interlocking scales aims at the circular built environment, whereas the outer ring provides the depth of field.
  • The model is neither finite nor exhaustive.


Did you know?

The ‘Scales to Aspects’ model is founded on the input of the research implemented by our CBE Hub members. Do you want to know more about our projects? Click here


Tillmann Klein
Tillmann Klein

Prof. Dr. Ing. Tillmann Klein was Professor of Building Product Innovation at the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. Here, he headed the Façade Research Group from 2005 to 2018, alongside which he was also director of the façade consulting office Imagine Envelope b.v. in The Hague from 2008 to 2016. He was also a guest professor at the Technical University of Munich from 2015 to 2018. Klein organised the international façade conference series The Future Envelope at TU Delft and was editor in chief of the scientific open access Journal of Façade Design and Engineering.

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