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Cradle To Cradle criteria for the built environment


  • Douglas Mulhall

    (Erasmus University, Rotterdam)

  • Michael Braungart

    (Erasmus University, Rotterdam)


The positive agenda of Cradle to Cradle establishes a new paradigm for redesigning in the built environment. Cradle to Cradle consists of a philosophy, quantifiable principles, and implementation tools that together comprise an innovation platform for enhancing the quality of materials, energy and biodiversity. This platform generates social, economic and eco-effective benefits, which go beyond the conventional sustainability approach of using eco-efficiency to minimize environmental impacts. Cradle to Cradle is well known through earlier published works but most practitioners in the built environment are still unfamiliar with how to apply its principles. The framework here provides an introduction to the philosophy then translates the three basic Cradle to Cradle principles into criteria that can be quantifiably applied and evaluated. It further describes implementation criteria, which allow the innovative integration of defined financial, contract, and design application tools. Definitions of Cradle to Cradle energy in relation to climate change gases are also provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Mulhall & Michael Braungart, 2010. "Cradle To Cradle criteria for the built environment," EKONOMIAZ. Revista vasca de Economía, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, vol. 75(04), pages 182-193.
  • Handle: RePEc:ekz:ekonoz:2010416

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    Cited by:

    1. Magnus Sparrevik & Luitzen Boer & Ottar Michelsen & Christofer Skaar & Haley Knudson & Annik Magerholm Fet, 2021. "Circular economy in the construction sector: advancing environmental performance through systemic and holistic thinking," Environment Systems and Decisions, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 392-400, September.
    2. Bosch, Stephan & Schmidt, Matthias, 2019. "Is the post-fossil era necessarily post-capitalistic? – The robustness and capabilities of green capitalism," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 270-279.
    3. Douglas Mulhall & Anne-Christine Ayed & Jeannot Schroeder & Katja Hansen & Thibaut Wautelet, 2022. "The Product Circularity Data Sheet—A Standardized Digital Fingerprint for Circular Economy Data about Products," Energies, MDPI, vol. 15(9), pages 1-19, May.
    4. Stephan Bosch & Matthias Schmidt, 2019. "Auswirkungen neuer Energiesysteme auf die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung – Möglichkeiten eines grünen Kapitalismus [Economic development within renewable energy systems – Opportunities for green capit," NachhaltigkeitsManagementForum | Sustainability Management Forum, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 95-111, June.
    5. Pedro Nuñez-Cacho & Jaroslaw Górecki & Valentín Molina-Moreno & Francisco A. Corpas-Iglesias, 2018. "What Gets Measured, Gets Done: Development of a Circular Economy Measurement Scale for Building Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(7), pages 1-22, July.
    6. van Dijk, Suzanne & Tenpierik, Martin & van den Dobbelsteen, Andy, 2014. "Continuing the building's cycles: A literature review and analysis of current systems theories in comparison with the theory of Cradle to Cradle," Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 21-34.
    7. Bob Geldermans & Martin Tenpierik & Peter Luscuere, 2019. "Human Health and Well-Being in Relation to Circular and Flexible Infill Design: Assessment Criteria on the Operational Level," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(7), pages 1-26, April.

    More about this item


    innovation; cradle to cradle; eco-effectiveness; design criteria; quality guarantee;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • L74 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Construction


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