Socio-economic and environmental barriers for a holistic asset lifecycle approach to achieve circular economy: A pattern-matching method

Rabia Charef, Eshmaiel Ganjian, Stephen Emmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current linear system of using natural resources for the construction industry, including extraction, consumption and disposal does not address the need to reduce the impact on environment and is long overdue. That is why various countries have set up plans to move towards the Circular Economy (CE) leading the construction sector to adopt new approaches for ensuring to close the loop of building materials. This paper explores the socio-economic and environmental barriers for the implementation of the CE, in a BIM environment. Twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted with a range of stakeholders involved in the asset lifecycle, experts in BIM or in sustainable approaches, to understand the obstacles to the holistic consideration of the asset lifecycle in the CE context. A descriptive interpretative analysis was used for the interviews' transcripts to identify common themes and sub-themes. A pattern-matching method was used for seeking the similarities and differences between the twenty stakeholders’ views and the literature. The study shows thirty-four new barriers identified by the interviewees and not found in the literature. Recommendations are given for accelerating the asset lifecycle reconsideration and the CE embracement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120798
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Early online date28 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 May 2021


  • Barriers
  • BIM
  • Building information modelling
  • Circular economy
  • End-of-Life
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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