What is a Healthly and Circular Building?

Applied to the world of real estate, the principles of the circular economy involve two things:

  • Upstream, to eco-design the building according to the concept of a materials bank,
  • Downstream, during the operating phase, to manage the building’s resources so that they can be reused or upcycled at the end of their useful life; this is called Resource Management.


These concepts of material bank, resource management or upcycling are major to successfully transition real estate to the circular economy, but it is also necessary to associate 2 other extremely important concepts: indicators of circularity and artificial intelligence.

Circular buildings designed as material banks

It is estimated that between 75% and 85% of the components of an office building are replaced during its lifetime, and for some of them several times.
We can therefore consider a building as a slowly evolving metabolism, and it is important to recover its components after use, so that they are sources of income through their reuse, reuse or upcycling… rather than waste.


To recover these components it is necessary to design a circular building as a “materials bank”, which implies that :

  • The building’s construction system is designed to be as dismountable as possible in order to remove used components at a lower cost,
  • The components are selected for their non-toxicity and upcyclability performance, i.e. they are themselves eco-designed to be easily dismantled and with healthy and easily upcycled materials (the “Cradle to Cradle” certification provides guarantees in this field),


These components are characterized by circular passports that will identify information relating to the components, and make it possible for them to be reused/upcycled later through the “resource management” operation.

The concept of Circular Passport

The circular passport is the identity form of a product or material.

This concept of a “circular passport” has just been incorporated into version 4 of the Cradle to Cradle certification criteria.


The circular passport generally describes:

  • Composition (components and associated materials),
  • The period of use (i.e. the period beyond which the product is deteriorated to the point of becoming a waste and losing any residual value),
  • The next possible lives, whether it is reuse, reuse, upcycling, recycling, composting…
  • Other useful information such as carbon impact, maintenance or dismantling instructions to facilitate its removal at the end of use.


Applied to a building, the information contained in the passports will make it possible to measure the carbon footprint of the building, its degree of circularity or non-toxicity, or to promote Resource Management, which will make it possible, during operation, to recover the residual economic value of used products from the building in the event of reuse or upcycling.

The Circular Passport of myUpcyclea

The Resource Management

Whatever your sector of activity, Resource Management (RM) consists in managing your resources in a circular way, and using the principles of the circular economy to set up ecosystems.
This allows you to regenerate your used resources, which will not only not be wasted at the end of their useful life, but will also generate savings and even income for your structure.


These ecosystems are chains of actors that make it possible to transform used resources so that they supply characterized needs in secondary raw materials, according to a circular upcycling or reuse model:

To function properly, Resource Management requires the support of a digital tool that makes it possible to capture and exploit information characterising resources, needs and actors, to deduce from them profitable and CO2-efficient ecosystems, and to monitor their proper functioning.


This digital tool also makes it possible to bring all stakeholders together in a single interface, where they will all speak the same language, and be able to communicate in real time.

The Circular Signature

Click on the image to learn more about the circular signature calculated automatically by myUpcyclea