Designing for increased reuserecycling in construction and demolition

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Recovery of demolition waste may be incorporated at an early stage in construction projects. The awarding authority/client will have the opportunity to include criteria concerning requirements on selected primary/secondary raw materials used in the construction/building. Through selection of certain building materials and specific construction techniques it will be possible to reach a high recovery rate for the building/construction after demolition. Little of the above has been applied until now.

In recent years public authorities (at EU as well as at national level) have become more aware of the subject. Thus a range of demonstration projects and studies have been initiated in order to create the necessary tools (databases, models, procedures) for the future designers. Some of the projects are listed in Box 6.1:

Box 6.1: Case studies of European research and development projects in design for increased reuse/recycling in construction and demolition

Model for optimising the reuse of building and demolition waste as well as reduction of its environmental impact (REWARD), EU

The objective of the project is to establish the basis for a) the maximum recovery of waste materials from all kinds of construction and demolition activities and b) the least possible environmental impact of building elements during the lifetime of a building, from the construction stage to the final disposal or recycling of the demolition materials. Clients: The European Union (l 991-94). In English.

The Recycled Dwelling, Denmark

The objective is to identify recyclable building elements and construction methods which, during the lifetime of the building, are environmentally neutral with regard to external environment, indoor climate and working environment. Client: The National Agency of Environmental Protection, Denmark. (1991-94). In Danish.

Environmentally Sound Design, Denmark

The project is aimed at the use of cleaner technology in building and civil engineering design. The project endeavours to provide a basis for the development of a design practice according to which health and environmental considerations form part of every estimate, and comparison throughout the decision-making process on an equal footing with any other important requirement, wish and consideration. Client: National Agency of Environmental Protection, Denmark (1993). In Danish.

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