Diverting Construction Waste from Landfill

Many of our users have been asking us how to model construction waste that gets diverted from landfill (for recycling or energy recovery etc) in eToolLCD. Intially there wasn’t an easy way to do this however we’ve now developed the following method to help our users to do just that!

Firstly, please keep in mind that the ‘Construction Waste Factor’ field under the materials’ input is very different from ‘Disposal or Recovery Method’ field. One relates to the material procurement stage and construction impacts (LC Modules A); while the other relates to the End-Of-Life disposal or recovery methods. If at the end of life, the material is put into landfill (the typical default industry average assumption), the impacts will be allocated to LC modules C; whereas if it’s recycled, the impacts/benefits associated with that will be allocated to modules D.

You WON’T need to change the materials’ Construction Waste Factors to model this strategy.

In this post, we’re specifically talking about the Construction Waste impacts related to Modules A and how we allocate the impacts/benefits of diverting that waste from landfill.


First thing to note, our typical construction waste factors for the most common construction materials are:

  • Asphalt: 10% (m3)
  • Bricks: 5% (m3)
  • Concrete: 10% (m3)
  • Steel: 5% (kg)
  • Timber: 15% (m3)

Next the steps are as follows:

  1. Calculate the amount of construction waste your project has generated:
    • Generate the ‘Materials Inventory Summary’ report.
    • Your report should look something like this:
    • Based on the volumes/kg in the report for the main construction materials, calculate the amount of construction waste generated for your project. For example, out of 0.5m3 of asphalt, with a 10% construction waste factor, 0.05m3 of asphalt is wasted in your project. So the total amount of construction material wasted in the above summary table is 0.05m3 of asphalt, 0.025m3 of bricks, 0.0419m3 of concrete, 50kg of steel and 0.19995m3 of timber.
  2. Find out what percentage is diverted from landfill for your project. Usually there is a waste management contractor that can provide you with these figures (estimated or actual). Apply these diversion factors to your total construction waste amounts. Like for example the table below:
  3. With the quantities above, add the relevant EPDs from the EPD library.

And that’s it! You don’t need to delete anything or change anything else in the design. The EPDs will take into account the benefits of the waste diversion for you.

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