What are we discarding during the life cycle of a building? Case studies of social housing in Andalusia, Spain

Waste Manag. 2020 Feb 1;102:391-403. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2019.11.002. Epub 2019 Nov 13.


The paper evaluates for the first time the embodied impact in CDW during the buildings life cycle by means of the bill of quantities of construction projects. The main objective is to be able to predict the future CDW to be generated by a project in the design stage, by means of the bill of quantities of the urbanization, construction, renovation, rehabilitation and demolition projects. The tools already in place for cost control can be used as an instrument for the introduction of sustainability considerations in construction projects. The methodology proposes a connection between the different stages of a building's life cycle, more precisely its budget. The latter is linked to other future budgets for building renovations or retrofitting projects. The result shows that urbanization and demolition generate 90% of CDW, the former is caused by earthworks and the latter is due to the elimination of all building materials. The building is removed 1.3 times, in terms of material weight, energy and water. Finally, traditional models for economic control and waste management in construction projects can be the vector which introduce environmental assessment through the building life cycle.

Keywords: Construction and demolition waste; Economic impact; Embodied energy; Embodied water; Social housing; Urbanization.

MeSH terms

  • Construction Industry*
  • Construction Materials
  • Housing
  • Spain
  • Waste Management*