Construction and demolition 

Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste includes any kind of waste created in the construction process, for example, soil and stone. In Ireland we produced just over 6.2 million tonnes of C&D waste . We also extract millions of tonnes of raw metal ores and minerals for construction and other activities. C&D waste is the largest waste stream produced in Ireland and represents one third of all waste produced within the European Union. This sector is a priority area of the EPA led National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP) which supports reaching key targets under EU Circular Economy proposals, landfill capacity limitations and proper management of soil, stone and C&D materials.

What is the EPA doing about construction and demolition?

An increased emphasis on preventing C&D waste and reducing the amount of C&D waste generated is needed.

  • The EPA updated the “Best Practice Guidelines on the Preparation of Waste Management Plans for Construction & Demolition Projects” published in 2006, to focus on best practice circular construction activities such as designing out waste and maximising the use of resources. The revised guidelines were recently out for public consultation and will be finalised in 2021.
  • The EPA published case studies and factsheets on how to manage and reduce waste during construction and demolition projects. These resources demonstrate both the financial and environmental benefits of reducing waste.

Construction & demolition is a priority area of the EPA-led National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP), which aims to prevent waste and drive the circular economy in Ireland. The NWPP developed the following repository of guidance and reports into waste prevention and best practice in the construction and demolition sector.

Table 1: Resource efficiency and the Circular Economy best practice resources
Click on the links to access Resource efficiency and the Circular Economy best practice resources
Theme 1: Resource Efficiency and the Circular Economy
ReferenceResource Link
Nordic Council of Ministers, 2018 Circular economy in the Nordic construction sector
Irish Green Building Council, 2018 Towards a circular economy in construction - Assessing low carbon, healthy, responsible products for the construction sector
RE4 project, 2017 Valorization of construction and demolition wastes: RE4 building solutions
European Commission, 2014 Communication from the commission on resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector
Zero Waste Scotland, 2017 Designing out construction waste - A guide for project design teams
European Commission, 2012 Communication from the commission on a strategy for the sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector and its enterprises
Nordic Council of Ministers, 2011 Assessment of initiatives to prevent waste from building and construction sectors 

 

Table 2: Sustainability best practice resources
Click on the links to access sustainability best practice resources
Theme 2: Sustainability
ReferenceResource link
European Commission, 2019 Level(s) - taking action on the total impact of the construction sector
European Commission, 2017 Level(s) - A common EU framework of core sustainability indicators for office and residential buildings
Government of Ireland, 2016 Government of Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness
Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, 2013 Construction products regulation (CPR)
OPW, 2009 Sustainability policy of the Office of Public Works (OPW)

 

Table 3: Green procurement best practice resources
Click on the links to access green procurement best practice resources
Theme 3: Green Procurement
ReferenceResource Link
Resource Efficient Scotland, 2017 Procuring resource efficient construction projects
Resource Efficient Scotland, 2015 Design led whole life costing tool user manual
European Commission, 2016 EU GPP criteria for office building design, construction and management
European Commission, 2016 Green Public Procurement criteria for office building design, construction and management - Procurement practice
European Commission, 2016 EU Green Public Procurement criteria for road design, construction and maintenance
European Commission, 2016 Revision of Green Public Procurement criteria for road design, construction and maintenance - Procurement practice guidance document
Environmental Protection Agency, 2014 Green procurement guidance for the public sector
Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, 2014 Review of the Producer Responsibility Initiative Model in Ireland
Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, 2011 Green Tenders, an Action Plan on Green Public Procurement
WRAP, 2009 Construction procurement guidance - delivering higher recycled content in construction projects

 

Table 4: C&D waste management best practice resources
Click on the links to access C&D waste management best practice resources
Theme: C&D Waste Management
ReferenceResource Link
County and City Management Association, 2020 Management of materials arising from roadworks. 2020 guidance for the local authority sector
Environmental Protection Agency, 2019 Guidance on soil and stone by-product
European Commission, 2018 EU guidelines for the waste audits before demolition and renovation works on buildings
Transport Infrastructure Ireland, 2017 The management of waste from national road construction projects
European Commission, 2016 EU construction and demolition waste management protocol - Executive summary
European Commission, 2016 EU construction and demolition waste management protocol
ENCORD, 2013 Construction Waste Measurement Protocol
Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, 2020 A Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy
Institute for Prospective Technological Studies Sustainable Production and Consumption Unit, 2012  Best environmental management practice for the building and constructor sector 
Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, 2006 These 2006 guidelines are in the process of being revised by the EPA and will be published following a public consultation period.

 

Web resources 

Project Ireland 2040

European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform

Encord European Network of Construction Companies for Research and Development

Construction and Demolition Waste Statistics for Ireland

RE4 Industry Cluster Projects

Guide to LEED certification

BREEAM Certification

CEEQUAL scheme

Environmental Product Declaration Ireland Programme