Guide

Recovering and using recycled aggregates

Recovering and reusing aggregates from demolition work

Each organisation within the construction supply chain can work together to make better use of recycled and secondary aggregates (RSAs), including:

  • developers
  • the design team
  • building contractors
  • demolition contractors
  • reprocessors and suppliers

For example, including RSAs as a required component when designing new build projects will drive demand for recovered material, inspiring better practice from demolition contractors.

In turn, making cost-effective, quality recovered material readily available through better demolition practices will encourage developers to include it in their projects.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Demolition Protocol sets out best practice for recovering material from demolition works and reusing this.

Demolition recovery of recycled and secondary aggregates

In order to recover as much reusable material as possible from demolition works, you should follow best practice. The three main steps are:

  • pre-demolition audit - assessing the potential of the building to recover resources, the likely quantities and any potential problems, eg contamination of one material with another
  • demolition site layout plan - designing the layout of the site to allow recovered materials to be collected, stored, processed and transported
  • evidence of material recovery - demonstrating how much material has been recovered, eg by measuring quantities stored or moved

Procurement of recycled and secondary aggregates

There are also three stages to best practice when using RSAs recovered from demolition in new build projects:

  • design - thinking about opportunities to use RSAs and how they could be supplied at the right quality, quantity and price
  • supplier assessment - carefully assessing the potential of suppliers to provide and work with recovered materials
  • evidence of recovered material procurement - demonstrating how much RSA material has been procured, eg by keeping purchase order notes