Waste from the construction industry: how to overcome the obstacles preventing construction waste from being reused.
Concerns for the environment and changes in the regulations are pushing the construction industry to reduce their waste. Reusing and recycling waste from construction sites, especially waste from deconstruction and rehabilitation works, requires a specific approach to overcome the known obstacles
The construction sector generates around 40 million tons of waste a year. Over 90% of this waste comes from deconstruction and rehabilitation works. Barely half of these materials are actually recycled or reused, and mainly for road works (inert crushed concrete is used as road aggregates). In 2015, in application of a European waste directive, the energy transition law set a target for 70% of construction waste to be recycled by 2020. The options to determine and properly coordinate how materials are reused must be chosen very early on, in project design phases.
Consequently, in the summer of 2014, as part of the national RECYBETON project and its project management mission for the Nimes Montpellier Railway Bypass (CNM), the setec group took part in the construction of a road structure using recycled aggregates produced from crushed concrete.
In addition to this, each year, the teams of setec bâtiment propose recovery and recycling solutions for all kinds of materials (concrete, wood/vegetation and finishing materials) for a wide range of uses: aggregates, second-hand materials, energy recovery, furniture, etc. The LERM teams offer their material expertise to more accurately qualify certain concretes that are destined to be reused (particle size and structural aging).
However, a number of technical and economic obstacles still thwart 100% reuse: additional costs related to proper disposal, restoration, preparation and/or cleaning of certain equipment, temporary storage areas need to be planned, additional insurance costs to cover the new way in which equipment will be used, etc.
In many cases, the solution involves finding ideas for simple and direct reuse within actual projects.
At the 3rd edition of the DATACITY challenges with NUMA and the Paris City Hall, setec seized the opportunity to support the start-up company Backacia in developing a service to assess the reuse potential of materials from construction sites. The objective over the coming months is to successfully reuse all finishing materials resulting from urban deconstruction for residents and future architectural projects.