Framework for Environmental Assessment of Using Industrial By-products and Used Building Materials

Title: Framework for Environmental Assessment of Using Industrial By-products and Used Building Materials
Author(s): Roth
Paper category : conference
Book title: International RILEM Conference on the Use of Recycled Materials in Building and Structures
Editor(s): E. Vázquez, Ch. F. Hendriks and G.M.T. Janssen
Print-ISBN: 2-912143-52-7
e-ISBN: 2912143756
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2004
Pages: 255 - 264
Total Pages: 10
Nb references: 30
Language: English

Abstract: In Sweden, environmental assessments in the process of development permits regarding
use of by-products and used building materials in constructions is mainly performed from the
narrow perspective of the material itself, i.e. the material level. Certainly, such an assessment
does not involve substitution of natural resources or environmental aspects of reuse in a wider
sense. We argue that these mainstream environmental assessments should use broader system
boundaries. We propose a framework based on four different assessment levels; (i) the
material level, (ii) the local environment level where the material should be applied, (iii) the
narrow life cycle level including a restricted life-cycle perspective and (iv) the industrial
system level where the production processes of the by-product or used building material and
its actors are working. Consequently, these levels address different issues. An environmental
assessment of reuse in general according to this framework would illuminate various aspects
of each level. Moreover, each level involves different evaluation methods to answer
addressed questions. For example, leaching tests are suitable at the material level in order to
study which and how much substances that could leach from the material. At the local
environment level, substance flow analysis can illustrate relevant flows and stocks in the
nearby environment. At the narrow life cycle level an abridged life cycle assessment adds
non-geographic but life cycle oriented information. Lastly, at the industrial system level,
methods as strategic environmental assessment or extensive life cycle assessment could be
used. The result of an environmental assessment use of by-products and used building
materials using this broad framework would provide a good basis for a discussion about
environmental performance involving consequences such as substitution of natural resources,
local environmental impact, large scale effects, and global environmental issues such as
supply of rare metals and climate change.

Online publication: 2004-09-29
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00
doi: 10.1617/2912143756.029

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