Engineering Task: 959166

TOPIC: How Construction Wastes Affect The Construction Industry And Built Environment

Project Description

The construction industry has never been as lucrative before for the potential developers and willing entrepreneurs. With the ever increasing and rapid growth in the human population and the need for more and greater infrastructure in the city spaces, there is an upsurge in the number of forms that operate around the UK that experienced a significant increase of about 6.2% in the year 2017 translating to about 314590 active firms in the country at the time. The numbers sound interesting for the sector, bearing the highest level of employment opportunities, enhanced earnings as well as an increase in the value of orders for new construction. Nonetheless, the industry is associated with numerous downfalls which may negatively impact the delivery to the client.

Hazardous wastes remain an issue that presents itself on the construction sites and upon the detection of hazardous materials; the whole development plan may change. This will definitely result in costs with regard to time and money to the business that may not always be a choice. Construction industries hence need to invest in environmental consultancy firms and be informed of any waste of the time that needs to be identified as early as is attainable.

Wastes from construction and demolition account for about 20% of the cumulative waste produced in the United Kingdom. In terms of tonnage, demotion and construction wastes from the largest waste stream of the United Kingdom representing about 90 million tonnes of substance every year.

Hazardous construction materials, commonly referred to as red list building materials, refer to the natural or otherwise synthetic chemical substances that are harmful both to human health as well as to the environment. Even though they are highly toxic, the chemicals can barely be seen, smelt or tasted yet they are available in both the outdoor and indoor living spaces and find their way into the human body via contact with the skin, ingestion or even inhalation. The extent, as well as the nature of the risk on health that the materials pose to human life as well as on the environment, is influenced by the duration of exposure as well as the level of exposure.

A solution to the hazardous construction wastes lies with the stakeholders and their commitment to ensuring that the construction sites and the environment at large remain as safe as possible. Research into the solutions to the impacts of hazardous construction wastes will be established through literature research on the writings by previous scholars and researchers on the topic with a focus on their recommendations (Akinade et al., 20). Still, more insights into the solutions will be attained through first-hand information attained from the very construction sites. This will go hand in hand with doing a site visit to a construction site to establish the extent of the impacts, the strategies laid down in combating the impacts and thus come up with possible solutions that will, in this case, be contextual and applicable to other sites of similar geometry and design.

Recommendation Report

Hazardous wastes on the construction sites

Lead: Lead is one of the leading heavy metals that are found in the materials used for roofing as, paints as well as plumbing pipes. This substance is highly toxic and undergoes rapid absorption into the bloodstream stimulates calcium allowing it to go beyond the barrier of blood and brain. Lead slowly accumulates in the bones as well as soft tissues finally resulting in the destruction of the nervous system. Close contacts with lead as well as result in blindness, brain disorders, and blood disorder among other health complications.

Polyvinyl chloride is one of the most common, lightweight and low cost even though string plastics that are used in the production of sewage popes as well as water pipes besides insulation of window frames, roof frames, gutters, as well as frames of door and windows among other applications (Wang, Li & Tam, 2015). The material is often used in as ceiling materials, flooring and wall covering in the form of vinyl tiles what re cheap and common in most of the interiors.

PVC pipes are composed of dioxins and phthalates that interfere with the normal activity as well as the production of the human hormones hence having impacts in the functioning of such organs as the adrenal, reproductive, thyroid, pancreases as well as pituitary glands. These substances are as well classified as carcinogens and are able to result in cancer, asthma birth defects among other defects of the human body. Human beings and the environment are as well as risk as a result of the production and disposal of PVC.

Wood treatments: These are treatments that are dome to wood to attain the required levels of preservation and enhance the lifespan. A significant percentage of the chemicals used in wood treatment is soluble in water. Creosotes are among the preservative used in the prevention of rot in wood and are made in an avalanche of variety as influenced by the material that is used in their production including oil tar creosote, wood tar creosote, water gas tar creosote, and coal tar creosote. The most commonly used of this type is the coal tar creosote even though it is the most toxic since it is capable of directly resulting in cancer.

Halogenated flame retardants

Flame retardant chemicals are included in the construction materials during the process of manufacture to low or stop speeding of flames either through preventing chemical reactions or the formation of a protective film. The retardant degrades to form toxic substances in the form of gases that mix with dust and find they are easy into the human body through inhalation or ingestion when heated (Wang, Li & Tam, 2015). They have the potential of resulting in the disruption of the hormones specifically thyroid, cancer, problems with reproduction, immunotoxicology, adverse problems of development among children and the fetus.

Asbestos: This was one of the most popular materials for the building until the later in the 20th century when it was established to be highly dangerous resulting in the ban. In as much as it is rarely found in the materials used in a modern building, some of its traces may still be established in flooring, pipe covers, fireproofing insulation as well as numerous adhesives. Asbestos is a respiratory irritant that results in obstructive pulmonary diseases besides resulting in lung cancer. 

Cadmium is a soft and malleable metal that is resistant to corrosion, non-flammable in solid state and does not dissolve in water. It has extensive been used on other metals mostly steel as a plating-resistant to corrosion. The compounds of the substance have as well be used in the stabilization of plastic to color glass as they come in red, orange as well as yellow pigments.

Components of Construction & Demolition Wastes

Construction, as well as demolition waste, is frequently isolated into various classes:

  • Waste left over from new development (for example new material pieces, bundling, and so on.)
  • Renovating/devastation trash from more seasoned structures (for example old wood, protection, mortar, block, installations, apparatuses, and so forth.)
  • The trash from vast common works undertakings, for example, expressways and spans (for example solid, black-top, rubble, and so forth

What amount is really produced from development and decimation work relies upon how development flotsam and jetsam is characterized and what’s incorporated, and so on. The general sums delivered by the development business in the U.S. are noteworthy.

Some portion of the test, as well, is that a significant part of the waste materials is reusable in some structure or another. A second test with construction wastes is that some of it are viewed as perilous.

Management of Construction Waste

Responsible waste management is an integral part of sustainable building. Management of waste in the context of this report revolves around the elimination of the waste where necessary and convenient, minimization was convenient as well as reusing materials that would otherwise turn to waste (Oesterreich & Teuteberg, 2016).). Management of hazardous wastes practices has established reducing, recycling as well as reusing of these wastes and one of the most important ways of sustainable management of the available resources.

Most of the construction, as well as demolition wastes that are produced at the moment in the United States of America, are destined for disposal lawfully in landfills that are controlled under Code of Federal Regulations 40 under the subsections D and C. The entire parts of the demolition as well as construction wastes stream is deposited unlawfully in some areas on the land or even in the natural drainages among them water which is contravention with the regulations set aside to protect the health of human beings, the surrounding as well as business. Numerous tonnes of wastes that are related to buildings are legally disposed of by businesses as well as the citizens of the United States in various landfills every year. Substantial amounts of wastes that are linked with construction are removed increasingly from the waste stream through mechanisms termed as a diversion (Oesterreich & Teuteberg, 2016).). The diverted substances undergo sorting for subsequent recycling and in other cases reusing. The macroeconomic conditions which affect the construction, natural as well as anthropogenic hazards alongside the trends of consumption have a significant influence on the volume of construction wastes produced. Construction industry awareness on the reuse and disposal issues has in the recent past been acknowledged to lower the amount of construction as well as demolition wastes dumped in the landfills (Haas, Krausmann, Wiedenhofer & Heinz, 2015). 

A lot of opportunities are available for valued reduction as well as recovery of substances which would otherwise be headed for disposal in the form of wastes. Professionals in the construction industry, as well as the owners of buildings, may inform and be informed regarding issues including beneficial reuse, economically affordable means of promotion of social as well as environmentally adequate strategies of lowering cumulative waste generated, beneficial use as well as the appropriate strategies for identifying and separating wastes (Govindan,  Shankar & Kannan, 2016).

Organizations alongside governments may assume stewardship responsibilities in a bid to attain an orderly, effective as well as reasonable disposal of construction waste, enhancement of public and industry awareness of the issues revolving around disposal alongside offering stable environments that are business friendly for the collection, repurposing, and processing of the various construction wastes. Business is able to generate value through returning back of the wastes to the processes of manufacturing, promotion as well as looking for opportunities for inclusion of recycled materials into products and focusing on the reduction of wastes related to buildings through effective job site practices.

Effective management of construction wastes calls for coordinated efforts of the professional, business as well as governmental groups alongside their activities. Numerous non-governmental institutions and societies have also be established to campaign for the coordinated action and have established the best management practices with a focus on public welfare and health (Govindan,  Shankar & Kannan, 2016). Realistic business opportunities, absent coordinated action as well as the commitment of design besides the construction professionals and their customers forever improvement of the practices of the industry, stable and consistent markets for the recovered materials may not be sustained or achieved.

Construction waste management tends to be costly and often shoots unexpected results. Nevertheless, common knowledge dictates that failing to recycle, reuse or reduce societal wastes is not sustainable. It remains to be argued that effective as well as efficient minimization and management of the wastes and materials reuse are integral components of the construction and design activity (Wong & Zhou, 2015). Persistence, creativity as well as knowledge regarding the available markets as well as a business alongside a comprehension of the applicable regulations are critical skills in design and construction experts.

Elimination of wastes: It is possible to eliminate some of the wastes produced in the process of construction. For instance, systems of the durable modular metal form used in the construction of concrete may be chosen depending on the readiness of demounting and reuse on other projects hence removing the wood wastes that are linked with the formwork made of dimensional lumber as well as plywood. Elimination of wastes may come with the benefits of lowering the impacts of the surroundings as well as on human health.

Minimization of wastes: Some of the construction wastes may be minimized or reduced. For instance, the selection of construction products may be one depending on the design of the material is such that that it is manufactured to be shipped for the least packaging. Still, take into consideration the notion that selection, as well as the use of recyclable materials and finished products, provides potential minimization of wastes (Wong & Zhou, 2015).

Reusing materials: It is possible to reuse some materials for instance doors and windows that are in proper and resalable conditions may replacement new products or be given out or sold for use for another project which is a form of beneficial reuse (Doan et al., 2017). Products and materials that may not be efficiently and effectively be reused, eliminated or minimized are gathered and otherwise managed may most likely be disposed at the least possible cost. In most of the regions around the world, the fees for disposing solid wastes at the solid waste landfills tend to be relatively higher in comparison with the cost of recovery as well as separation inclusive of the disposal cost of residue.


Practices for waste reduction can be applied to almost any construction scenario with the aim of being a diversion of the materials at the landfill disposal to the highest degree of practicality under the prevailing conditions. There are two main ideas regarding if this could be a realistic opinion under circumstance s of real-world projects. One such idea is that the reduction of waste results in monetary needs while the other is that the reduction of waste is money saving. As is the case with any construction development project, project management, as well as planning, will definitely determine whether there is a reduction is attained within the provided quality, schedule as well as cost parameters. The largest uncertainty is often the presence of salvage and as well as recycling outlets and services alongside any costs related to dealing with such materials.

In this era when the prices of energy are constantly increasing, the spread of construction wastes will be greater as recoverable resources. Promotions should thus be conducted on enhancements of the diversion of wastes originating from the various landfills and more toward the production of energy as well as recycling of materials.


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