Dynamic Material Flow Analysis for Strategic Construction and Demolition Waste Management in Beijing

Of all materials extracted from the earth's crust, the construction sector uses 50%, producing huge amounts of construction and demolition waste (CDW). In Beijing, presently 35 million metric tons per year (megatonnes/year [Mt/yr]) of CDW are generated. This amount is expected to grow significantly when the first round of mass buildings erected in the 1990s starts to be demolished. In this study, a dynamic material flow analysis (MFA) is conducted for Beijing's urban housing system, with the demand for the stock of housing floor area taken as the driver. The subsequent effects on construction and demolition flows of housing floor area and the concurrent consumption and waste streams of concrete are investigated for Beijing from 1949 and projected through 2050. The per capita floor area (PCFA) is a key factor shaping the material stock of housing. Observations in Beijing, the Netherlands, and Norway indicate that PCFA has a strong correlation with the local gross domestic product (GDP). The lifetime of dwellings is one of the most important variables influencing future CDWgeneration. Three scenarios, representing the current trend extension, high GDP growth, and lengthening the lifetime of dwellings, are analyzed. The simulation results show that CDW will rise, unavoidably. A higher growth rate of GDP and the consequent PCFA will worsen the situation in the distant future. Prolonging the lifetime of dwellings can postpone the arrival of the peak CDW. From a systematic view, recycling is highly recommended for long-term sustainable CDW management.

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