In a circular economy, one seeks to maximise value retention by bringing and keeping products, materials, raw materials (preferably in that order) in circulation. Specifically, for the construction sector, this means that when buildings are demolished, the aim is to preserve, reuse or recycle extracted materials as much as possible, and that, when constructing new buildings or renovations, one tries to integrate recovered materials. In this way, the built environment is seen as a mine that can be "mined" again and again (hence the much-used term "urban mining").
Today, the residual value of buildings is considered negative because we have to pay for their demolition. However, in the case of a transition to circular construction, the building elements present can be considered valuable, according to their potential for dismantling, remanufacturing, reuse or recycling. But keeping building materials in circulation also means maximising the lifespan of buildings through proper maintenance and attention to waste during the construction phase.