Construction and demolition (C&D) materials are generated when new buildings are constructed or when existing buildings are renovated or demolished. C&D materials often contain bulky, heavy materials such as concrete, asphalt, metals, and bricks. 

600 million tons of C&D debris were generated in the United States in 2018 and demolition represents more than 90 percent of total C&D debris generation. This waste has profound implications for climate change by contributing to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. 

What can be done?

Local government officials, architects, contractors, and engineers play a key role in mitigating the impact of C&D. The design phase is the best opportunity to address waste management. Resilient design will not only take into consideration the impact of the materials now but also future scenarios if the structures were to be dismantled. 

In our work at ID360, we help local government officials, architects, contractors, and engineers navigate the complex Construction Waste Management requirements within the California Green Building Code. Local ordinances can greatly change the requirements of a project. If not prepared, projects can be significantly set back in terms of time and budget. We work with teams to increase knowledge of the logistical impacts of C&D and how this impacts a typical construction schedule.

Where to turn for more information?

The Environmental Protection Agency has resources for sustainable management of construction and demolition waste. You can also learn more specifically about regulations in California by participating in our course: Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste Compliance at ID360 Academy. 

C&D waste and material management can greatly impact climate change. Through smart, sustainable choices and thorough planning, we can mitigate some of these effects.