Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Rosemarie D. MacSweeney and Niall P. Dunphy
23rd Irish Environmental Researcher's Colloquium
Materials efficiency in building construction; systematic appraisal of business ecosystems for construction projects
Galway, Ireland
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste is a significant waste in Ireland. Common approaches to divert this waste from the waste stream include: improved construction site management; on-site segregation; recovery and recycling. More recently, attempts have also been made to eliminate waste in the design process.  Furthermore, it is increasingly common in construction projects to hear of  ‘materials management’ approaches in place of ‘waste management’. These efforts to minimise waste and treat waste as a resource are welcome, but unless such efforts are carried out on a whole life basis, they may just result in waste being transferred from one lifecycle stage to another.  This paper considers C&D waste optimisation from a lifecycle perspective by expanding on existing research and using a hybrid of corporate methodologies specifically adapted here for the construction industry, to identify and prevent waste generation across the business ecosystems that contribute to the design, construction, operation and end-of-life of a building. The paper explores the adaption of methodologies such as value chain analysis, business eco-systems, and total quality management for whole life waste optimisation in construction projects. The various actors and stakeholders that form these business ecosystems are mapped and their roles and interactions throughout the major stages of a building’s life from inception to demolition are characterised.  This paper posits that significant waste minimisation can be achieved through an integrated material management process considering all actors involved in the delivery of construction projects, which can be facilitated through a systematic appraisal of the business ecosystems involved.