Building adaption for waste minimisation : impact of policies

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Mithraratne, Nalanie
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Conference Contribution - Paper in Published Proceedings
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
whole building recycling
waste reduction
construction waste
demolition waste
building adaptation
building recycling
Mithraratne, N.(2015). Building adaption for waste minimisation : impact of policies. In M. Panko and L. Kestle (Eds.). Building Today - Saving Tomorrow: Sustainability In Construction And Deconstruction Conference Proceedings. (pp. 36-43). Unitec Institute of Technology. Retrieved from:
Construction and demolition waste represents a significant wastage of natural resources and energy while also contributing to air pollution. Measures to reduce construction waste include achieving flexibility in design of new buildings, and recovery of materials and components from existing buildings or adaptation of existing buildings to new uses. Although prolonging the building life through designing for adaptation can reduce the rate of demolition, the low rate of building renewal means that material recovery and whole building reuse are equally important in minimising construction waste. While the quality of recovered material/component depends on the original design and recovery process, there is a lack of measures to promote the use of recovered materials. Changes in decision-making on how buildings are designed, demolished and reused can therefore significantly improve the resilience of building stock and reduce the adverse impacts. While theoretical underpinnings of designing for deconstruction or adaptation of existing buildings are well established, their practice depends more on location, policy issues and incentives. This paper discusses the preliminary findings from a research project which aims to develop a set of guidelines on designing buildings for flexibility, based on life-time environmental and financial performance of alternative strategies, and generate data on relative environmental performance of recovered construction materials/components compared with virgin alternatives used in Singapore.
Unitec Institute of Technology
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Unitec Institute of Technology
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