Inclusion of prevention scenarios in LCA of construction waste management Articles uri icon



publication date

  • March 2019

start page

  • 468

end page

  • 484


  • 3


  • 24

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 0948-3349


  • PurposeLife cycle assessment (LCA) has been applied extensively for the environmental evaluation of solid waste management. However, there are only a limited number of approaches based on the LCA perspective to deal with waste prevention, which constitutes the first and overriding principle of the waste management hierarchy, both in relation to solid waste in general and to construction waste (CW) in particular. This paper explores the possibilities of the LCA for the evaluation of CW management that includes prevention activities.MethodsBased on literature, the functional unit and system boundaries used in the traditional LCA of CW management are redefined to include prevention scenarios; this leads to two methodological options (options 1 and 2). From the above, general and simplified models were developed. The general model evaluates CW management scenarios composed of several CW fractions, while the simplified model is applicable to the analysis of one separated CW fraction. A case study was carried out on new buildings in Spain. Optimization and substitution measures of prevention were developed and four CW management scenarios were compared using the general model. The simplified model was applied to the management of concrete waste.Results and discussionSeveral environmental impact categories were evaluated. The redefinition of the functional unit and the system boundaries allowed the assessment of prevention scenarios in the traditional LCA of CW management, confirming the findings of previous studies. Prevention was the most favorable scenario, since, in addition to reducing 60% of the amount of CW generated, it would have also reduced at least 60% of all impacts of the categories analyzed.ConclusionsMost CW prevention studies in the reviewed literature are focused on the reduction of the quantities of waste. The methodological approaches in this study allow a greater insight into the effects of prevented CW on the environment. The proposed models could sup


  • construction waste; life cycle assessment; waste hierarchy; waste managementscenarios; waste prevention activities; life-cycle assessment; demolition waste; reduction; systems; assessments; buildings