Barriers to circular economy implementation in the construction industry: causal assessment model

Durdyev S., KOÇ K., Tleuken A., BUDAYAN C., Ekmekcioğlu Ö., Karaca F.

Environment, Development and Sustainability, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10668-023-04061-8
  • Journal Name: Environment, Development and Sustainability
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, PASCAL, ABI/INFORM, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Geobase, Greenfile, Index Islamicus, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Circular economy, Construction sector, Developing economies, waste, Fuzzy DEMATEL
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Circular economy (CE) offers a systems solution framework to create a closed-loop system that minimizes waste and maximizes resource efficiency. The construction industry has significant potential to adopt CE practices but faces several barriers that hinder its progress. This study investigates the causal relationship between the barriers to the wider adoption of CE in the construction sector in Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Turkey, as part of a developing country perspective. To achieve this aim, a fuzzy decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) was used to analyze the barriers initially identified through a comprehensive literature review. Although Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Turkey differ in many aspects, they share a common and vital factor in addressing the challenges associated with the adoption of CE: “governmental support through policy development and enforcement.” Another causal barrier they face is the inadequacy of their current infrastructure, which hampers the effective implementation of the CE concept. The results reveal that governments should lead the implementation process by encouraging and supporting the sector to overcome the resistance toward new business models or innovations. The fragmented nature of the sector, with its many stakeholders and complex supply chains, makes the implementation of CE practices challenging. This highlights the need for a coordinated effort (e.g., utilizing advanced construction technologies) by the stakeholders and decision-makers to overcome the challenges and promote the adoption of CE practices. As a pioneering research of its kind, this study holds immense significance for the forefront of the sector in three developing countries where the adoption of CE practices is still in its infancy. The research findings are expected to greatly assist practitioners and policymakers in developing countries in addressing the challenges toward an efficient and effective transition to circularity.