Assessing brick waste on domestic construction sites for future avoidance

  • YEAR
    Forsythe, Perry
    Máté, Kirsty
    2007 Conference Papers
    Construction and materials
    Indicators of sustainable development: space, energy, water, waste


Abstract: The problem of construction waste on building sites is not new and continues to be a significant
problem to the waste stream. Much has been done to better understand and encourage re-use and
recycling, but relatively little has been done on avoiding the occurrence of waste in the first place. A
significant contributor to the waste stream on domestic housing sites in Australia is brick waste. A common
solution to the problem is recycling the waste into crushed brick, used as a landscaping aggregate or low
grade road base. This relies on the stability of recycling markets and so a more ideal situation is to avoid
brick waste in the first place. This paper investigates the issue of brick waste and strategies for avoidance.
From site investigations, it was found that bricks accounted for the main loose waste onsite (by weight). As
much as 75% of this waste was caused from cutting waste – often in trying to obtain half bricks. Through
experimentation it was found that the brick design could be marginally changed during manufacture to
better facilitate a successful ‘first strike’ of the brick, providing a clean split and thereby reducing wastage
through unsuccessful strikes. This simple change could see a reduction in brick waste on domestic
construction sites in Australia.


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