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Design out waste in construction

Reducing construction waste begins at the drawing board. Good design can reduce the squandering of resources, energy and money at the outset and throughout a building's lifetime.


Construction is Scotland's biggest contributor to landfill. That's not something to boast about, but we believe millions of these tonnes can be designed out from the start.

Our guide, designing out construction waste, takes a circular economy approach to construction. It aims to help reduce consumption of virgin materials at the outset, optimise resource-efficient maintenance and repair, and maximise re-use of materials at the end.

Written with clients, designers and contractors in mind, this expert guide offers a comprehensive breakdown of the design process, taking in considerations such as:

  • Sustainability targets and legislation
  • Adaptability of design – to facilitate changes of use, and deployment of discrete elements, to facilitate low-cost repair and maintenance
  • Benefits of natural and recycled materials including those to be found on-site
  • Waste, energy and cost efficiency throughout the building's lifetime

Our guide includes key actions for clients, designers and contractors, for each stage of the design process, and a host of inspiring and instructive case studies

Designing out waste has the potential to divert 11 million tonnes from landfill, contribute hugely to Scotland's re-manufacturing economy (already worth £11billion) and helping you square up to a future of increasingly scarce resources and escalating environmental legislation.

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