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From waste management to component management in the construction industry

Rose, CM; Stegemann, JA; (2018) From waste management to component management in the construction industry. Sustainability , 10 (1) , Article 229. 10.3390/su10010229. Green open access

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Abstract

The construction industry uses more resources and produces more waste than any other industrial sector; sustainable development depends on the reduction of both, while providing for a growing global population. The reuse of existing building components could support this goal. However, it is difficult to reclaimcomponents from demolition, and materials remain cheap compared with labour, so new approaches are needed for reuse to be implemented beyond niche projects. This study therefore reviews waste interventions. Multiple case studies, spanning new builds and refurbishment, were undertaken to examine systemic mechanisms that lead to components being discarded. Evidence from fieldwork observations, waste documentation, and interviews indicates that the generators of unwanted components effectively decide their fate, and a failure to identify components in advance, uncertainty over usefulness, the perception of cost and programme risk in reclamation, and the preferential order of the waste hierarchy mean that the decision to discard to waste management goes unchallenged. A triage process is proposed to capture timely information about existing building components to be discarded, make this information visible to a wide community, and determine usefulness by focusing creativity already present in the industry on an exhaustive examination of component reusability and upcyclability.

Type: Article
Title: From waste management to component management in the construction industry
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/su10010229
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010229
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
Keywords: reuse; building materials; construction and demolition waste; architecture; engineering; and construction (AEC) industry; end-of-waste; repurposing; upcycling; creativity; utility
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043735
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