No Content Set
Exception:
Website.Models.ViewModels.Components.General.Banners.BannerComponentVm

Services

Technical services and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government sectors.

Advisory and management consulting

Advisory and management consulting services for businesses and projects, including economics, due diligence, transaction advisory, ESG and more.

Communications, creative and digital

Communications, creative and digital solutions for governments and businesses including community engagement, design, research, data and software development.

Laboratories

Scientific analysis services for AgroScience, food safety, workplace exposure, environmental metrics and contaminants of concern in Europe and the UK.

Planning and approvals

Development strategy, planning and approval solutions for buildings, infrastructure, transport and city projects and investments.

Project and program management

Project management solutions for the most complex building, infrastructure, organisational change, and systems projects.

Training

Specialist training services, programs and accreditation for health, safety and risk, project management, and energy sector capability development.

Sectors

World-leading technical and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, resources, water, defence and government sectors.

Property

Design, technical and advisory services for the property sector, including residential, commercial, retail, industrial, health, education and data centre projects.

Energy

Energy exploration, development and optimisation solutions for renewables, power and gas networks, energy storage, oil and gas and nuclear facilties.

Transport

Smart, safe and sustainable transport infrastructure development services and advice for rail, aviation, port and road clients and projects.

Defence and government services

Expertise for defence capability and infrastructure investments, security and safety projects, and information and telecommunications initatives.

Water

Discover our industry-leading strategy, design and management solutions for wastewater, groundwater, flooding, drainage and network infrastructure.

Resources

Commercial data, design advice and technical management solutions for safe and environmentally responsible resource exploration and operations.

About us

Responsibility

Services

Technical services and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government sectors.

explore Services
Advisory and management consulting

Advisory and management consulting services for businesses and projects, including economics, due diligence, transaction advisory, ESG and more.

Due diligence

Economics

Strategy and transformation

Commercial and technical advisory

Transaction advisory

Project investment and finance

ESG consulting

Explore Advisory and management consulting
Communications, creative and digital

Communications, creative and digital solutions for governments and businesses including community engagement, design, research, data and software development.

Communications and engagement

Creative, visualisation and immersive design

Social advisory and research

Data management, analytics and insights

Spatial intelligence and GIS

Software development

Explore Communications, creative and digital
Design and development

Technical and consulting services for buildings, infrastructure and cities including architecture, engineering, surveying, landscape architecture and urban design.

Architecture

Lifts and escalators

Building services engineering

Civil engineering

Fire engineering

Geotechnical engineering

Landscape architecture

Structural engineering

Surveying

Utility options and design

Urban design

Explore Design and development
Laboratories

Scientific analysis services for AgroScience, food safety, workplace exposure, environmental metrics and contaminants of concern in Europe and the UK.

AgroScience analysis

Food safety analysis

PFAS Analysis

Environmental analysis

Analysis of unknowns

Workplace exposure analysis

Explore Laboratories
Planning and approvals

Development strategy, planning and approval solutions for buildings, infrastructure, transport and city projects and investments.

Planning consultancy

Transport planning

Explore Planning and approvals
Project and program management

Project management solutions for the most complex building, infrastructure, organisational change, and systems projects.

Program management

Project management

Cost management / quantity surveying

Building consultancy

Explore Project and program management
Training

Specialist training services, programs and accreditation for health, safety and risk, project management, and energy sector capability development.

Health, safety and risk

Training: project management

Capability development and training for the energy sector

Explore Training

Sectors

World-leading technical and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, resources, water, defence and government sectors.

explore Sectors
Property

Design, technical and advisory services for the property sector, including residential, commercial, retail, industrial, health, education and data centre projects.

Residential

Commercial and retail

Leisure and tourism

Industrial

Health and healthcare

Education

Data centres

Explore Property
Energy

Energy exploration, development and optimisation solutions for renewables, power and gas networks, energy storage, oil and gas and nuclear facilties.

Oil and gas

Renewables

Nuclear facilities

Power and gas networks

Storage

Explore Energy
Transport

Smart, safe and sustainable transport infrastructure development services and advice for rail, aviation, port and road clients and projects.

Rail

Aviation

Ports

Roads

Explore Transport
Defence and government services

Expertise for defence capability and infrastructure investments, security and safety projects, and information and telecommunications initatives.

Defence

Security and safety

Information and telecommunications

Explore Defence and government services
Water

Discover our industry-leading strategy, design and management solutions for wastewater, groundwater, flooding, drainage and network infrastructure.

Water management

Wastewater

Flooding and drainage

Groundwater

UK and Ireland regulated water asset management

Explore Water
Resources

Commercial data, design advice and technical management solutions for safe and environmentally responsible resource exploration and operations.

Mining

Waste

Explore Resources

Projects

We define, design and manage projects that create shared value to a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world.

explore Projects

Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

explore Insights

Circular economy: the cornerstone of sustainability

With the rapid growth in waste generated by production, a new, sustainable approach is needed. In this article Conall Boland discusses the need for the adoption of a circular economic model throughout the build cycle of a product and just how vital this is.

13 November 2020 | 6 min read
Conall Boland
ON THIS PAGE
Contact us
Infographic displaying take make waste with text "Infinite resources. resource extraction. production. distribution. consumption. dispose. Infinite regenerative capacity of the Earth"
Circular economy visual with text conveying cycle: Raw materials, design, production remanufacturing, distribution, consumption use reuse rapair, collection, recycling, residual waste

The circular economy approach will use less resources and energy, while at the same time being more carbon efficient and maximising waste reduction. It means designing out waste from the beginning, rather than relying solely on waste recycling at the end of the chain. 

Policies such as the European Green Deal (2019), the EU Circular Economy Plan (2020) and Ireland’s Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy (2020-2025) are all aiming for a climate neutral circular economy by 2050, halting biodiversity loss.  The circular economy will have net positive benefits in terms of GDP growth and job creation; applying ambitious circular economy measures in Europe can increase the EU's GDP by an additional 0.5% by 2030 creating around 700,000 new jobs.

According to Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal: “Today, our economy is still mostly linear, with only 12% of secondary materials and resources being brought back into the economy. Many products break down too easily, cannot be reused, repaired or recycled, or are made for single use only. There is a huge potential… to transform the way products are made and empower consumers to make sustainable choices for their own benefit and that of the environment.”

 

Circular economy infographic detailing: Construction, operation and use, renovation and retrofit, demolition, manufacturing of building products, design and procure

Over the coming years the construction sector is going to play a major role in the circular economy. It is estimated that the construction industry accounts for approximately 60% materials use and one third of all waste arisings.  In RPS we are undertaking circular economy training and research to explore how our design teams can implement more and more circular solutions.  As well as doubling down on traditional efficient design measures, we are increasingly using digital design to drive resource efficiency.

Case study: designing out waste in the Sandyford Water Supply Scheme

Sandyford is a new business district in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains, home to international employers such as Microsoft. RPS designed the high-level water supply scheme serving the area for Irish Water. A number of deep excavations into coarse the characteristic yellow granite bedrock were required for pumping stations. Rather than excavate and dispose of the rubble, RPS asked the architect to incorporate the granite boulders as the external walls for the utility structures in the schemes, including the prominent pumping station picture, adjacent to the local LUAS light rail platform. 

Aoife Carty, the RPS lead engineer explains:

“we developed a neat solution – there was no need to send truckloads of waste offsite, meaning we saved on transport costs and emissions, but more importantly we achieved an attractive and durable finish on the pumping station, using local resources”. 

Circular economy – design approach

Circular thinking can and should be applied across the entire project life cycle, however the greatest opportunities are at the early stages i.e. to design out waste and carefully consider our design and material choices. According to “Circular Economy – Principles for Building Design” (EU Commission) There are five design principles that should be taken into account with every project:

  • Design out waste

The design can be rationalised in order to omit unnecessary features and use less resources.  We need to consider whether any elements of the existing site be reused, this can apply to existing features, demolition material, topography of the site or even the soil. 

  • Use recycled materials

The materials that we choose can be of vital importance. If we can use materials with some recycled content or incorporate waste surplus from other projects or demolition works we will cut down hugely on waste and resource consumption.

  • Design for disassembly / deconstruction

If we improve the ease with which buildings can be deconstructed at the end of their useful life; by using materials that can be easily separated, we can increase reusability of materials and cut down resource requirements for demolition.

  • Modular design approach

We should be looking to implement a modular design approach wherever possible which would allow simple upgrade to services without the whole system becoming obsolete.  Off-site construction is a means to achieve low levels of waste.

  • Smart renovation to avoid unnecessary demolition

It is possible to repurpose existing buildings or features to avoid creating waste.  With imagination and ingenuity, beautiful buildings can emerge from old structures.

There are numerous potential benefits with the transition to a circular economy including material cost savings, reduced price volatility, improved security of supply, employment creation, as well as reduced environmental pressures and impacts.  Circular economy thinking is long term planning. It must cut across all phases of project development, from design to delivery and use.  Early adoption is vital, to ensure a sustainable outcome.