Reuse of materials and components

  • Design-Build Contracts
  • Materials


Requirements and Criteria Type: 
  • Contract Terms

Main Objective: 

Production of materials results in a large share of the energy and climate footprint linked to construction and civil engineering activities. Around half of material production, half of energy consumption and a third of water consumption in the EU is linked to the construction and civil engineering industries. In order to compensate for the energy and climate footprint, it is important to ensure that the materials are given the longest possible service lives.

Relatively new constructions are often demolished and a lot of the materials/components can potentially be reused. Reuse of materials contributes to the circular economy and reduced energy and greenhouse gas emissions from material production. Reuse also reduces the need for waste management. The reuse of construction materials in the immediate vicinity of the development in question also reduces the need for transporting waste and materials.

Requirement Specification: 

<X> months after entering into the contract, the contractor must submit a plan containing strategies and measures to reuse materials or structures from other buildings and constructions that are or will be demolished/renovated. 

As a minimum, the plan must include strategies and specific measures for:

  • reuse of available materials in this project, including type, quantity and environmental benefits.
  • reuse of materials that become available during the project.
  • future reuse of materials or structures (design for reuse).

If reuse has been surveyed during the project planning, the outcomes must be enclosed as an appendix to the invitation to tender and used as a basis for the plan.

Documentation of the Requirement Specification: 

A plan of a maximum of 3 pages containing strategies and measures for the reuse of materials.

The contractor must also document how product documentation will be managed.

Information about the Requirement Specification: 

When this requirement is used, we recommend contacting the market at an early stage to communicate that the reuse of materials is desired for the project. You should investigate which products are available on the market in advance. If you know that buildings or constructions in the nearby area are scheduled for demolition or renovation, this information should be included in the tender competition. It is also important to be prepared that materials that are initially intended for reuse (e.g. concrete) may turn out to be contaminated following more thorough investigations or that they are difficult to dismantle for reuse.

It is difficult to document the properties of used materials and the contractor therefore needs to document how it intends to manage this.

Examples of reuse:

  • Reuse of structures when building new at the same location
  • Reuse of demountable structures for use elsewhere
  • Reuse of paving stones, etc.
  • Reuse of wood
  • Reuse of road markings, signs, barriers, etc.
  • Use of residual concrete or crushed concrete in structures or gabions
  • Use of old pipes for downgraded purposes, e.g. old pressure pipes for surface water.
  • Kerbstones
  • Load-bearing steel components can be disassembled and used again
  • Prefabricated concrete products such as hollow block floors can be disassembled and reused in new structures (subject to documentation of quality/resistance satisfying the requirements for the new design).

Related links: 

Published: 24. Nov 2020, Last modified: 26. Nov 2020