Sustainable Design and Waste Management

Embracing sustainable design principles to create resilient and eco-conscious infrastructure is a vital step towards a greener future for generations to come. Still, there are measures to take to ensure that industrial waste is properly managed.

This article highlights effective strategies towards waste management in the architectural and construction industry. 

Waste management and control, especially in Nigeria, is of great concern. In our quest for a sustainable future, we need proper management of our resources and waste. There are 3 pillars surrounding waste management and control: Reduction, Reusage and Recycling.

In the architectural, design and construction industry, sustainable waste management revolves around minimising waste production from construction work, reducing the consumption of materials, reusing materials, and recycling waste.

Ways we can incorporate the three pillars of waste management into sustainable design.

Reduce: Minimising material use, energy consumption, and waste generation starts with resource reduction. Prioritise planning, reduce packaging and address solid waste issues. Opt for preserving existing buildings, optimising new ones and using construction methods that facilitate material reuse and alternative techniques. 

Reuse: Items like doors and windows that are in good condition can be repurposed and used again or for another project. Efficiently managing materials that can’t be minimised or reused is crucial to avoid disposal costs. Recovering valuable building materials through deconstruction is a cost-effective and eco-friendly approach. 

Recycle: Repurposing construction components and waste is feasible. Recycled concrete and rubbish are commonly used for aggregate and concrete products. Engineered wood items and furniture can be crafted from recycled wood, whilst metals like steel, copper and brass are valuable recyclables. 

In conclusion, waste management should be considered before and during the design process and discussed at pre-construction and site meetings to ensure that the relevant contractors and subcontractors are fully aware of the implications.

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