Best practice strategies to reduce the waste produced during construction, refurbishment and demolition of buildings include: 

Designing for material optimization:

  • Design flexible spaces to serve multiple functions
  • Optimize structural systems and reduce number of finish materials.
  • Reversible attachments allow disassembly of materials and components at the end of their useful life.
  • Coordinate dimensions and standardize similar elements to encourage repeatability to avoid scrap.
  • Provide material information in BIM model
  • Consider providing furnishings and fixtures as a service so they can be maintained, upgraded and taken back by supplier at end of useful life.

Selecting Materials for Circularity

  • Reclaimed and reused buildings, materials and components 
  • Specifying materials with recycled content. 

Waste Management Planning On-site

  • Ensuring that procedures on the construction site facilitate waste segregation and recycling.

Planning for reduced C&D waste must happen at a project’s start and be part of an integrated design approach. For more strategies and considerations per phase, see Zero Waste Design Guidelines Best Practice Strategies for Construction and Demolition Waste.