Dynamic modeling of construction and demolition waste management processes

Jane L.J. Hao (Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)
Vivian W.Y. Tam (School of Engineering, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
H.P. Yuan (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
J.Y. Wang (College of Civil Engineering, Shenzhen University, Guangdong, China)
J.R. Li (College of Civil Engineering, Shenzhen University, Guangdong, China)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Publication date: 7 September 2010



The aim of this paper is to develop a model based on system dynamics (SD) approach, which integrates three subsystems for simulating construction and demolition (C&D) waste management in Shenzhen, Mainland China.


SD approach was first used to construct the model for C&D waste management in Shenzhen. The model was then converted for running on computer through the software package “iThink”, which was specifically designed for SD modeling. The data required for model simulation was derived through various ways, including literature review, examination of official reports and yearbooks, and questionnaires. After all the parameters in the model were determined, simulation was carried out.


The model proposed in this research can provide an experimental simulation platform to investigate the complexity and interdependencies of factors in managing C&D waste in Shenzhen, Mainland China. The simulation results show that the pressing situation of C&D waste management in Shenzhen would aggravate if no effective measures were taken to address it during the simulation period. Participants' active participation and cost consideration are the two major factors affecting C&D waste reduction. Furthermore, new landfills should be planned to properly handle the C&D waste accumulated in Shenzhen over the past few years.


Although some studies have been conducted under the topic of C&D waste management during the past few years in Shenzhen – how to effectively and efficiently handle the waste is still unsolved. Factors affecting the effectiveness of C&D waste management have separately been examined in the previous studies, without considering their interrelations. The SD‐based model is developed in this research to investigate the complex and interdependent relationships among these factors. The model can deepen participants' understandings about C&D waste management and help explore the major factors affecting the effectiveness of management activities. The measures, which are proposed based on the simulation results, can serve as a valuable reference for planning C&D waste management in Shenzhen.



Hao, J., Tam, V., Yuan, H., Wang, J. and Li, J. (2010), "Dynamic modeling of construction and demolition waste management processes", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 476-492. https://doi.org/10.1108/09699981011074574

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