WIT Press

Potential For Construction Waste Minimisation Through Design


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WIT Press


M. Osmani, A. D. F. Price & J. Glass


Recent figures published by the UK Government reveal that construction and demolition waste in the UK is around 90 million tonnes per annum, including an estimated 13 million tonnes of unused material. Furthermore, the introduction of new legislation, the emergence of new technologies and practices in both waste disposal and recovery, and the rising tide of public awareness are all conspiring to change the face of waste management. The opportunities and responsibilities to minimise construction waste rest with clients, contractors, suppliers and designers (architects/engineers). The aim of this paper is to investigate the feasibility of construction waste reduction through design. The paper evaluates current government policies and waste practices in the UK construction industry; and identifies problems for the implementation of effective waste minimisation during the architectural design stage of building projects. The objective of the paper is to develop a framework for a doctoral study entitled ‘Construction Waste Minimisation by Design’ which is investigating the role of architects in reducing construction waste. The paper covers: waste management and minimisation policies; strategies and industry practice construction for waste management and reduction; waste production; and current methods of monitoring; and designing out onsite wastage. The paper concludes that current waste-reduction processes mainly concentrate on the physical minimisation of construction waste and identification of site waste streams, i.e. the when onsite waste has already been produced. It recommends the adoption of a proactive approach to waste minimisation, as legislative and fiscal measures are likely to increase. The content should be of interest to building designers who have a decisive role in helping to reduce waste at all stages. Keywords: UK, waste management, waste minimisation, legislation, design waste, building design.


UK, waste management, waste minimisation, legislation, design waste, building design.