Scenario planning

Include uncertainties in the building design by integrating adaptable elements in the right places.

What are scenarios?


Scenarios are stories, exploring imaginable but divergent futures. Scenarios relate easily to architecture as they help to show how a building might change over time.

Why creating different possible scenarios?

When designing for circularity, there is a lot of uncertainty linked to defining the lifecycle of buildings, the degree of adaptability, and the end of life. Anticipating different possible scenarios for a building helps to look forward in time to evaluate the long-term advantages of the building design and to make better-informed decisions. 

The only certainty is that the future is uncertain

How to build scenarios? Workshop scenario planning

In the workshop 'Scenario planning', designers can learn how to use scenario planning during the design process. Preferably this workshop is done at the beginning of the design process, but it can be done as a learning lesson as well.

Worksheet Scenario Planning 1811.jpg
Worksheet Scenario Planning 18112.jpg

Download the first worksheets of the workshop Scenario planning


Estimated duration: 2 hours

For who? Design team and/or the client

Knowledge needed? Basic knowledge about circular building is recommended.

Design phase: Preferably at the beginning of the design process, or it can be used as a reflection on the design as well

Materials needed: The worksheets, pens, blanc paper, basic information about the building project

More information and sources

Scenario developing for life cycle design and analyses - Galle W. and De Temmerman N. Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Circular Retrofit Lab: Full renovation of prefabricated student housing modules for multiple uses - Buildings as material banks (BAMB)