Demonstrating waste minimisation benefits in construction (C536)

The construction industry produces roughly four times the waste produced by households in the UK. Any reduction of this large figure must produce both environmental and economic benefits. CIRIA studied waste minimisation initiatives being undertaken on 10 live projects that were under way during 1999 2000, recommending further initiatives where practicable. Waste audits were undertaken on a number of sites, and the relevant data were collected, enabling the benefits of waste minimisation to be quantified. This report demonstrates the benefits that have been achieved on the demonstration projects by the implementation of various initiatives. The objective of this guidance is to demonstrate the practical principles of waste reduction, reuse and recycling in the construction industry. It emphasises that waste minimisation can save money as well as having environmental benefits. Some organisations are unaware of the cost implications of unnecessary waste, and many are reluctant to put practical waste minimisation measures in place because the up-front costs can appear to offset the savings. This publication shows how waste can cost the developer and contractor in many different, often indirect, ways. Consequently, ignoring waste minimisation can substantially reduce profits.

There are full-colour case studies contained in a pocket inside the back cover of the book. Each case study reports on one of the 10 demonstration projects. It is intended that the guidance is used by all organisations involved in construction, primarily clients, developers, planners, designers and contractors. The guidance can be used both as an information source for the user and as a means of persuading other members of a professional team of the advantages to be gained by minimising waste at all stages of the planning, design, construction and demolition process.

Key words: waste minimisation, building technology, recycling and reclaimed materials.

ISBN: 978-0-86017-536-0

Author: S Coventry, B Shorter, M Kingsley

Number of pages: 98 (paperback)

Publisher: CIRIA

Date of Publication: November 2001