Residential building construction activities, whether it is new build, repair or maintenance, consumes a large amount of natural resources. This has a negative impact on the environment in the form depleting natural resources, increasing waste production and pollution. Previous research has identified the benefits of preventing or reducing material waste, mainly in terms of the limited available space for waste disposal, and escalating costs associated with landfills, waste management and disposal and their impact on a building company's profitability. There has however been little development internationally of innovative waste management strategies aimed at reducing the resource requirement of the construction process. The authors contend that embodied energy is a useful indicator of resource value. Using data provided by a regional high‐volume residential builder in the State of Victoria, Australia, this paper identifies the various types of waste that are generated from the construction of a typical standard house. It was found that in this particular case, wasted amounts of materials were less than those found previously by others for cases in capital cities (5‐10 per cent), suggesting that waste minimisation strategies are successfully being implemented. Cost and embodied energy savings from using materials with recycled content are potentially more beneficial in terms of embodied energy and resource depletion than waste minimisation strategies.
Treloar, G.J., Gupta, H., Love, P.E.D. and Nguyen, B. (2003), "An analysis of factors influencing waste minimisation and use of recycled materials for the construction of residential buildings", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 134-145. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777830310460432
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