Attributing value to waste: the difficult road to efficient waste management for renovation projects
Paper in proceeding, 2018

The focus on sustainability has pressed the construction sector to process and optimise Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) activities. The potential of collecting and recycling of waste has received a considerable amount of attention. The life cycle of various products and material is well documented and many models are aiming at optimizing the supply chain and logistic processes. The processes of new built seem to be under control in the Swedish context, but the handling of renovation and demolition waste, traditionally considered as low value work, is still lacking behind. Moreover, the different actors included in this process tend to attribute the responsibility of this situation to each other. In this context, we are interested in how the actors value waste in the different phases of a renovation project. To do so, we build on the concept of value as defined by the sociology of economics, which enables us to appreciate the creation of value as the result of direct interactions in delivery activities and analyze these processes as socially shaped and consequently open to possible changes. We focus on the case study of a renovation project to illustrate the various interpretations and translations of value. We gathered observations on site and interviews with the actors involved: client, architect, contractor, sub-contractors, workers on site and future users. The preliminary results point at a diversity of understanding and practices of what value is for the different actors, sometimes even contradicting each other, which may jeopardize the expected results for CDW management. The concept of value helps us to analyze the shaping of these practices and consequently may contribute to the improvement of the CDW processes

construction and demolition waste management




Martine Buser

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Construction Management

Petra Bosch-Sijtsema

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Construction Management

Proceeding of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference


34th Annual conference of Association of Researchers in Construction Management
Belfast, United Kingdom,

CONSTRUCTIVATE. Sustainable recycling of construction and demolition waste

Stiftelsen Chalmers Industriteknik (projekt160026), 2016-04-01 -- 2019-12-31.

CONSTRUCTIVATE Sustainable recycling of construction and demolition waste

Mistra Urban Futures (2013/036), 2016-04-01 -- 2019-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Construction Management

Environmental Management

More information

Latest update