Going circular in buildings’ renovations? An environmental and financial impact assessment conducted for a case study in Greece
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The current European building stock is responsible for 50 % of the energy use, 40 % of the greenhouse emissions, and 50 % of the raw material requirement. Existing European policies push the increase of renovations, aiming to achieve energy efficiency and material preservation. Applying circular strategies on upcoming renovations can boost this initiative. Until recently, existing literature has mainly been focused on monitoring the buildings’ operational energy and carbon emissions. In this study, a variety of environmental and financial implications was researched. The analysis was performed for a conventional and a circular renovation strategy applied to a residential building case study located in Athens, Greece. The impacts of the two strategies were accessed conducting a Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and a Decision Support System (DSS). The outcomes indicated that applying circularity in the Greek residential building stock is more beneficial from an environmental perspective, whilst from a financial aspect it turned out to be unattractive. Throughout the sensitivity analysis, it was observed that these outcomes are highly dependent from the input data. The national published information on financial data was very limited, while the Hellenic construction material database was incomplete. Therefore, an improvement of the database with publicly open information on EPDs is highly suggested.