A Review of Studies on Environmental Performance Analysis of Construction and Demolition Waste Management using Life Cycle Assessment
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Construction and demolition (C&D) activities generate a large amount of waste throughout their life cycle. Demolition of buildings is on the rise owing to rapid urbanization and dynamic demands. Disposal of C&D waste leads to faster depletion of available landfill space. The environmental performance of C&D waste management needs to be analysed from a life cycle perspective to identify better waste management principles. A selective list of research papers from C&D waste literature, which applied life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology has been reviewed in this paper. The primary aim of this review article is to identify the commonality among those research papers and understand the environmental impacts of various practices being adopted in C&D waste management. LCA case studies were found to vary widely on several categories, and we inferred that they could be compared by selecting normalized unit processes in the system boundaries, functional unit, inventory data sources and impact categories. The environmental impact generated due to the operation of C&D waste recycling facility was reported to be negligible in most of the papers. Transportation of C&D waste was reported to cause the highest environmental impact in most of the articles. Recycling of C&D waste has been recommended as a sustainable alternative to landfilling, and large benefits emerge from savings in valuable land space. Furthermore, energy savings of up to 50% and emission reduction in the range of 7–10 times occur due to recycling of recovered materials, especially metals.
KeywordsC&D waste Life cycle assessment (LCA) Waste management Recycling
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