The best opportunities for improving materials resource efficiency in construction projects occur during the design stage. Implementing these opportunities can provide significant reductions in cost, waste and carbon.
Designers have a key role in improving the materials resource efficiency (optimising materials use and/or reducing waste) from construction projects as their design decisions directly influence what gets constructed, and how. Doing this is ‘Designing out Waste’.
There are five key principles that design teams can use during the design process to reduce waste:
- Design for Reuse and Recovery;
- Design for Off Site Construction;
- Design for Materials Optimisation;
- Design for Waste Efficient Procurement; and
- Design for Deconstruction and Flexibility.
All opportunities for Designing out Waste fit within these five principles and they apply to all projects, whether civil engineering or building construction, just with a different focus and technical solutions.
Designing out Waste’ is also a key element of good practice in the preparation of a Site Waste Management Plan. This highlights that designers have an important role in reducing waste – it is not just a site action for construction contractors.
Designing out Waste process
The simple, three-step process of Identify, Investigate, and Implement enables the Designing out Waste principles to be applied in a structured way on a project.
It can be easily applied to all types of project, whether relating to buildings or civil engineering, demolition, new-build or refurbishment.
The summary guide gives more information about the Designing out Waste process.
Site Waste Management Plans
Starting a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) at the design stage – before work starts on site – is an integral part of the Designing out Waste process. Recording design decisions made to Design out Waste in the SWMP will help in communicating them to the client and contractor and ensure that they are implemented on site.
- Design stage case studies demonstrating the benefits of addressing waste at the design stage.
- Cost benefit analyses - whole project and trade package examples of waste and cost savings.