chapter  4
Development Standards and Criteria From ‘designed waste’ to zero waste
Pages 20

Environmental management initially focused on pollution, rather than ‘non-toxic’ waste. But both forms of waste created by construction and demolition result in signicant negative impacts.3 For example, construction, renovation and demolition waste can account for up to 80 per cent of landll by weight and up to 44 per cent by volume – some of it leaching toxic chemicals. Further, up to 50 per cent of ‘packaging’ waste has been attributed to construction.4 Such waste and ineciency also costs money. For example, the Australian government’s research organization, CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientic and Industrial Research Organisation), estimates that eciencies in the construction industry could create a 10 per cent reduction in construction costs and lead to a 3 per cent growth in GDP.5 While construction represents only around 10 per cent of GDP, its design largely determines the amount of upstream resource consumption and emissions in mining, forestry, transport and manufacturing. Waste has generally been regarded as a problem that emerges at the end of the pipe. However, waste is ‘designed in’ long before products reach the construction site or building user. For instance, only 5 to 15 per cent of a tree ends up in wood products, with the conversion of logs to structural timber being roughly 30 per cent. is means the specication of more ecient products like ‘radial sawn timbers’ can generate ‘compound savings’ upstream in the forest.6 But upstream waste gures do not reect how the design of environments and artefacts can lock society into patterns of consumption downstream that perpetuate waste for decades.