The recycling potential (RP) indicates the ability of building materials to form a closed-loop material flow, that is, the material efficiency during its whole life cycle. Mass timber constructions and concrete buildings vary widely in RP, but the differences are difficult to calculate. This paper proposed a level-based scheme to compare the RP of mass timber and concrete buildings, and a BIM-Eco2soft-MS Excel workflow coupling Material Cycle Database and digital design tools were established to obtain information on building materials, resource consumption, and environmental impact for the RP calculation. Taking a residential building as an example, the difference in RP between mass timber and concrete at the material-level is firstly discussed. Then at the component-level, the RP of the wood structure component and concrete component is compared, and the optimization methods are proposed. Finally, the difference in RP between the mass timber building and reinforced concrete building at the building-level are illustrated. The results show that the RP of mass timber building is higher, and the disassembly ability is better. Within a 100-year service life, the RP of mass timber buildings is 73% and that of the reinforced concrete building is 34%. The total amount of material consumption and waste of the Variant CLT is 837,030 kg and 267,237 kg respectively, which is less than one-third of that of concrete buildings (3,458,488 kg; 958,145 kg). The Global Warming potential (GWP) of these two variants is -174.0 kgCO2/m2 and 221.0 kgCO2/m2 separately, indicating that the Variant CLT can realize negative carbon emissions and gain ecological benefits. A sensitivity analysis is conducted to explore the potential impacts of certain parameters on GWP and RP of buildings. The research can provide the reference for material selection, component design, and RP optimization of mass timber buildings. In addition, new ideas for assessing the potential of circularity as a design tool are proposed to support the transition towards a circular construction industry and to realize carbon neutrality.