Pioneering targets in line with circular economy principles
WSP’s Waste & Circular Economy team have been engaged to provide strategic waste engineering and circular economy advice, and to develop a precinct wide waste management plan that exceeds current Australian standards in sustainable waste management within both the Masterplan and built design.
The Arden Circular Economy Strategy provides practical guidance on how circular economy principles can be embedded into masterplanning and building design, in a holistic approach that spans the whole lifecycle of the project. It includes:
- Identifying targets in line with circular economy principles
- Preserving heritage value
- Ensuring adequate spatial allocation
A mindset shift from viewing waste as a problem
To effectively transition to a circular economy, a mindset shift is required, from viewing ‘waste’ as a problem that needs to be disposed of, to ‘materials’ with value for reuse, repair, repurposing and recycling. The benefits of this include:
Embedding circular economy at every stage of the precinct’s lifecycle
The strategy explores opportunities for stakeholders at every stage of the precinct’s lifecycle to contribute to its circular economy outcomes:
- Design stakeholders: integrate circular design principles from the outset
- Construction stakeholders: minimise the impact of construction practices
- Operational stakeholders: utilise the design effectively and keep materials in use as long as possible through reuse and repair
- End of service stakeholders: disassemble and/or handle materials at end of their current use so they may be kept in use or returned to the system
- Community and building users: community initiatives, such as hubs for upcycling, reuse, repairing and sharing; on-site community garden composting; plastic free zones; spaces allocated to materials storage
The Arden circular economy strategy proposes a pioneering approach to precinct master planning, demonstrating the benefits that can be achieved by embedding circular economy principles from the earliest stages of development.
The strategy will set the initial direction for Arden’s journey to becoming a circular precinct and will be reviewed and adapted over time to meet the evolving needs of the local community and environment.
Circular economy principles can be tailored to suit different project scales
Although embedding circular economy principles into new, large-scale developments (or redevelopments) is becoming more widely understood, it can be challenging to visualise how these same principles may be applied to existing sites and infrastructure, or to smaller scale projects with limited budgets.
However, these initiatives can be tailored to suit the specifications of different project scales and budgets.
- Modular infrastructure and processing technologies, for sites with variable demand or limited space.
- Adaptation of existing spaces and infrastructure currently dedicated to streams that are being phased out (e.g. plastics and polystyrene) to utilise them for emerging high volume waste streams (e.g. textiles and e-waste).
- Micro factories to capture value from high potential waste streams that are not yet viable for large scale processing (e.g. low volumes, emerging technology, limited funding or limited end markets)
The transition towards a circular economy will require a holistic approach, both locally and globally. Individuals, industry and government alike can each contribute to this change by taking small steps in the right direction, rethinking our attitude towards “waste”, and challenging our business-as-usual use of products and materials. It all starts with good design.
Learn more about the Arden Precinct Structure Plan.
Leading the circular economy conversation
WSP draws upon our local and international expertise where we have successfully delivered several projects with Circular Economy principles at their core.
Leading the way in the transition to a circular economy through design choices, WSP also collaborated with NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change in unleashing the circular potential of the construction industry using a Future Ready™ approach.
As Technical Partners to the WorldGBC Circular Built Environment Accelerator programme, WSP contributed to the launch of the flagship report 'The Circular Built Environment Playbook' to advance regenerative built environments.
This report presents strategies for the built environment to reduce its resource consumption and to help achieve global climate targets. It contains numerous solutions, including Arden Precinct and three of our global case studies:
- Arden Precinct, Melbourne, Australia – circular economy embedded into masterplanning and building design (page 71)
- Centre Block Rehabilitation, Ottawa – Canada’s large heritage rehabilitation project (page 48)
- Elephant and Castle Town Centre, London, UK – delivering steel’s full reuse potential (page 35)
- The Recycled Houses, Denmark – report looking at whether recycled materials are as good as new materials (page 35)
Download 'The Circular Built Environment Playbook'.
Find out more on how we’re helping organisations to adopt Circular Economy principles: Contact Valentina Petrone