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New standard helps construction sector reduce waste during building projects

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The BS 8895-2 standard will help keep environmental criteria to the fore throughout construction projects.

BSI, the business standards company, has published BS 8895-2 Designing for material efficiency in building projects – Part 2: Code of practice for Concept Design and Developed Design. The standard addresses the need for more efficient building design and specification, with the aim of reducing quantities of construction, demolition, and excavation waste. The construction sector is the largest contributor of waste.
Material efficiency encompasses the efficient use of materials throughout the lifecycle of a building, waste prevention and reduction, minimizing damage to the environment and minimizing depletion of natural resources. BS 8895-2 is the second part in a projected suite of standards that address specific and interrelated issues and processes of material efficiency in building projects in line with the RIBA Plan of Work.
It sets out the process for the integration of designing for material efficiency and how it fits into the ‘Stage 2 Concept Design’ and ‘Stage 3 Developed Design’ of the RIBA plan of work (‘Stage 0 Strategic Definition’ and ‘Stage 1 Preparation and Brief’ are covered by BS 8895 Part 1). There is much potential to implement material efficiency by taking forward the initial project brief and considering opportunities that arise from the work undertaken to develop the outline designs and specifications.
The document gives recommendations for designing for material efficiency that are accepted as good practice by industry leaders and practitioners, and brings together the results of practical experience and acquired knowledge for ease of access and use of the information. It is intended to be used by the design team when preparing Concept and Developed Designs to include proposals for material efficiency. These then inform the final project brief and other strategies such as the sustainability strategy and project execution plan.
Anthony Burd, Head of the Construction Sector at BSI said: “In 2009 BSI’s ‘Built Environment Design Advisory Committee’ had the foresight to identify design waste in building projects as a potential area for standardization. At this time it was felt that designers would benefit from clear and unified guidance to help them achieve their sustainable construction goals and see those much desired cost savings and reduced environmental impacts.”

Key benefits of BS 8895-2:
The benefits cited by BSI in its literature for the standard include:
– Helps achieve higher levels of resource efficiency in a building project
– Takes account of design activities that might occur in either the concept and/or developed design stages, providing a flexible approach in applying material efficiency
– Looks at the efficient use of materials throughout the lifecycle of a building, not just one part of it
– Keeps environmental impacts of the construction process at front of mind fulfilling corporate social responsibility criteria
– Addresses interrelated issues and processes so they can work together to improve material efficiency in building projects



BS 8895-2 was developed using the collaborative input from industry bodies, architects, authors and designers amongst others. Such organizations and industry professionals as Arup, BRE, Loughborough University, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), made a contribution to the development of the code of practice.

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