This design science research study developed a decision-support tool for selecting demolition waste management strategies. It is published – open source – in the special issue ‘Understanding Demolition’ of the new journal Buildings & Cities. The editorial recognizes the methodological contribution we made to support practical processes of demolition decision-making.
The construction industry is increasingly challenged to reduce its waste production, resource consumption and energy emissions. Moving towards more circular and sustainable practices therefore seems imperative. Demolition contractors play a vital role in this move as they need to select waste management strategies for distinct obsolete building elements. Previous research has nevertheless overlooked how demolition contractors can gain insights into the consequences of such strategies. This research therefore adopts a design science research methodology to iteratively develop a decision-support tool for selecting demolition waste management strategies. Through collaborating with a pioneering demolition contractor in the Netherlands, in-depth insights into actual decision-making processes were obtained. A tool was subsequently designed that compares and ranks three different waste management strategies (reuse, recycle and recover) by evaluating their impacts in terms of technical feasibility, economic costs, environmental gain and social gain. This tool enables demolition contractors to make more informed waste management decisions and, as such, offers new opportunities to adopt circular and sustainable demolition methods.
Demolition contractors are pressured to adopt more circular and sustainable methods. This requires these firms to consider waste management strategies other than traditional energy recovery or landfilling. A new decision-support tool offers demolition firms insights into the consequences of different waste management strategies. This tool compares and ranks reuse, recycle, and recover waste management strategies. The tool was demonstrated and evaluated by a demolition contractor in the Netherlands. It was found that the decision-support tool assists in making more informed waste management decisions through illuminating technical feasibility, economic costs, environmental gains and social gains. A suggested ranking of strategies is provided for distinct obsolete building elements. Implementing the tool will require changes to local project routines.
van den Berg, M., Hulsbeek, L. and Voordijk, H., 2023. Decision-support for selecting demolition waste management strategies. Buildings and Cities, 4(1), p.883–901.DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/bc.318