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| be Waste Wise | September 22, 2020

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Eliminating Construction Waste

Eliminating Construction Waste
October 29, 2019 @ 8:30 am – 9:15 am UTC Timezone

Click here to register for this panel.

Construction materials represent around 40% of all materials used in most advanced economies, and construction and demolition (C & D) waste makes up around 25% -30% of waste sent to landfill. This results in millions of tons of C & D waste being buried every year, representing huge losses in embodied energy, water and materials. In many jurisdictions the ‘linear’ expectations embodied in design and construction practice and regulation undermine the feasibility of more fully re-using construction materials. In this conversation we will be looking at how the present linear model followed in design and construction can be modified and replaced with a more circular model. We will pay particular attention to the role of information technology in conjunction with sustainable waste management systems to better enable the reuse of materials like timber, glass and steel, and the vital importance of changing inappropriate regulation and of training and engaging designers to lead this process.


Duncan Baker-Brown, Senior Lecturer, University of Brighton & Director of BBM Sustainable Design

Duncan is an architect, academic and environmental activist. Author of ‘The Re-Use Atlas: a designer’s guide towards a circular economy’, he has practised, researched, and taught around issues of sustainable development for over 25 years. He has worked on projects as diverse as ‘The Greenwich Millennium Village’ in London, the RIBA’s ‘House of the Future’, and the multi-award-winning ‘Brighton Waste House’.

Duncan is currently the Principal Investigator for two EU Interreg research programmes focussing on the re-use of construction waste, building deconstruction/ re-construction. He lectures widely on issues relating to sustainable development and the circular economy and recently delivered a keynote address ‘Designers can save Planet Earth’ at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change.

Duncan curates the annual ‘Waste Zone’ at FutureBuild; a three-day symposium and exhibition focusing on discussing many of the most pressing issues presenting the emerging concept of Circular Cities. It involves over 50 invited speakers including Prof. Walter Stahel, Prof. Michael Braungart, Dr. Zoe Laughlin and Prof. Mark Miodownik.  

Robert Crocker, China Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development

Robert Crocker (moderator) is Deputy Director of the China Australia Centre for Sustainable Development, a partnership with Tianjin University, where he is also a guest researcher. His research focuses on the relationship between consumption, waste and design for sustainability, and he has published widely in this field, including most recently two co-edited volumes on the circular economy, Unmaking Waste (EmeraldInsight, 2018) and on reuse, Subverting Consumerism (Routledge, 2018). His recent book, Somebody Else’s Problem: Consumerism, Sustainability and Design (Routledge: Greenleaf 2016), won gold in the Axiom Best Business Books awards for 2017, and is planned to be reissued in a second edition in 2020.

Click here to register for this panel.

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