An Integrated Framework for Construction Waste Management using the Concept of Circular Economy
The growing urban population has become a catalyst for economic growth, making substantial impact particularly on the construction industry. In the last few decades, Malaysian construction industry has experienced an increase in the construction activities. Therefore, evaluating the amount of waste generated and developing strategies to minimize waste are imperative in order to achieve a sustainable future. The increasing amount of wastes is a pressing issue due to rapid economic development and growing populations whereby 26,000 tonnes of construction wastes are generated daily in Malaysia.
Construction wastes are constantly being generated throughout the construction cycle in which the construction stage contributes to the largest portion of wastes when the construction activities are not efficiently managed. The increasing amount of waste has led to a significant change of perception towards effective waste management whereby a sustainable waste minimization strategy needs to be pursued and adopted in order to control and reduce the amount of wastes dumped into landfills. Therefore, in order to efficiently reduce the waste generation, the adoption of a circular approach is paramount; thus, the existing practices need to be changed for the better.
This research project will examine how construction waste can be managed throughout the construction cycle by integrating the concept of Circular Economy (CE). The concept of CE is a prominent approach to sustainably manage the resources as well as minimize wastes. CE endeavours to ensure that the waste can be resourcefully managed. The concept of CE is not only developed based on the 3R principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, the elements of Re-imagine and Re-design should be incorporated to maximize the resource efficiencies by reconsidering the processes and the designing-out of the wastes. It can be successfully implemented using the three-layer approaches of micro, meso and macro levels. An integrated framework will be developed based on the outcomes derived from the participation of construction actors. The developed framework will then be validated using the system dynamic modelling to further enhance the suitability of the framework to be applied in real-life scenarios. This framework will help the construction actors and government to conserve the natural environment by implementing a sustainable and greener construction practices.
Funding: Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) Malaysia
Advisors: Dr Anthony Halog, Dr Lucia Rigamonti