Modelling of Concrete Waste Using Life Cycle Assessment & Damage Cost

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
There is a massive quantity of concrete waste in the city of Dubai and in United Arab Emirates (UAE) landfills, due to the enormous growth of infrastructure in the last two decades that has resulted in an increase in the number of construction and demolition sites, and currently there is no effective management option to reduce the concrete waste in the landfills by sustainable methods. Furthermore, concrete waste accumulated in landfills can damage human health, resources and ecosystems. Therefore, in this study, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was conducted between the current method of landfilling and its transportation of concrete waste to landfill, and the proposed recycling method. While the comparison helps in highlighting the ecological impact of concrete waste, the best waste management method, and the associated damage cost through the comparison of the relationship between ecological impacts and their costs, it also helps in reducing the environmental impacts and achieving project sustainability. Furthermore, the LCA was conducted through the utilisation of the ISO 14040:2006 framework and principles, which guided the study to follow the phases of LCA in an organised and systematic approach. In addition, the EcoInvent 3.4 database and SimaPro software were used as tools to correlate and simplify LCA phases and results. Furthermore, the Handbook Environmental Prices 2017 was used to find the damage cost for each impact. Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) and damage cost results showed that concrete waste in the landfill has a considerable impact on the environment compared to the recycling method and transportation process. The study opens up opportunities for future research to identify which impact indicator and management method of concrete waste has a significant influence on the environment and its damage cost. Moreover, Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA) can be conducted in future to compliment this study in finding the financial benefit of different management options of concrete waste beyond its damage cost. This study’s contribution is predominantly the expansion of an understanding of modelling the damage cost, in addition to providing LCA results for the management of concrete waste, which was based on different waste management options such as landfilling, recycling and transportation process.
concrete waste, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), ecological impact, project sustainability