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Keywords:

  • buildings;
  • construction;
  • demolition;
  • industrial ecology;
  • recycling;
  • renovation

Summary

In this article we have elaborated a consistent framework for the quantification and evaluation of eco-efficiency for scenarios for waste treatment of construction and demolition (C&D) waste. Such waste systems will play an increasingly important role in the future, as there has been for many years, and still is, a significant net increase in stock in the built environment. Consequently, there is a need to discuss future waste management strategies, both in terms of growing waste volumes, stricter regulations, and sectorial recycling ambitions, as well as a trend for higher competition and a need for professional and optimized operations within the C&D waste industry. It is within this framework that we develop and analyze models that we believe will be meaningful to the actors in the C&D industry. Here we have outlined a way to quantify future C&D waste generation and have developed realistic scenarios for waste handling based on today's actual practices. We then demonstrate how each scenario is examined with respect to specific and aggregated cost and environmental impact from different end-of-life treatment alternatives for major C&D waste fractions. From these results, we have been able to suggest which fractions to prioritize, in order to minimize cost and total environmental impact, as the most eco-efficient way to achieve an objective of overall system performance.