Improving Construction Waste Management in Crete.

Construction Waste Management in Crete.

This guide is dedicated to construction waste management in Crete. This is a part of the Biophilic Design Approach by ARENCOS, for waste prevention and carbon footprint reduction, including reusing and recycling building materials on construction projects in Crete, Greece.

It provides detailed, best-practice advice to assist with the prevention and reduction of waste as well as the recycling of materials on construction sites.

Waste Management in Crete by ARENCOS Engineers
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Improving Construction Waste Management in Crete: The Way Forward.

It is difficult to provide exact numbers of construction waste produced on a typical construction site in Crete, Greece. Still, it is estimated that it is as much as 30-35 per cent of the overall weight of building materials delivered to a building site.

Approximately, 50 million tons of construction waste has been dumped in the country and much of it could be salvaged and recycled. ARENCOS significantly contributes towards a more resource-efficient and circular economy by promoting waste management, recycling, sustainability energy efficiency and zero waste methods.

We offer exceptional architectural and engineering services, delivered by our team of implementation advisors, engineers and technical specialists, to help you identify cost-saving opportunities for your project in Crete, Greece.

For more details call us today on 0030 282112777, email in**@ar*****.com or visit our website at to discover more.

How to Use this Guide.

The Construction Waste Management in Crete guide by ARENCOS, can be used on-site by contractors, project managers and supervisors, all of whom can establish effective waste management on-site by using best and innovative practices and methods. It is designed to meet the needs of residential and commercial buildings towards a circular economy and includes examples of how teams and/or working groups can work together to ensure a reliable and practical waste management strategy.

The worker groups are described as:

Group 1: Those who are involved in the construction site for a long-term period and produce a significant amount of waste. It is considered as the group that has direct responsibility for managing the waste, for example, the project supervisor and/or the contractor.

Group 2: Those who produce waste but do not have direct responsibility for it, for example, contractors who may only be on site for a limited period of time to install a piece of special equipment or professionals responsible to fulfill specific project requirements.

Meet the team of ARENCOS: Stavros Thomas - Architecture & Engineering Consultants in Chania, Crete, Greece
By Stavros Thomas
Leads ARENCOS environmental sustainability and net-zero projects to achieve energy autonomy and operational excellence through close collaboration with colleagues, peers, and external partners.

Sustainable Construction Waste Management in Crete. Is it Possible?

Simple, yet practical changes on-site to reduce, re-use and recycle construction waste can generate a wide-range of benefits and establish technically viable and economically feasible projects.

The case study in this guide can help you to quickly understand how and why construction waste is created and how to manage it. Construction and demolition wastes (CDW) consist of fragments/debris that come from construction, renovation and demolition of buildings. Construction firms play a significant role in the sustainable development of the circular economy in Crete, Greece. For a sustainable construction project, one of the biggest challenges is waste management.

The major construction wastes are surplus concrete, broken bricks, wood and steel, glass, plastics, green wastes (small trees, bushes) and excavated soil. Green construction is the new standard for homebuyers, investors renters and commercial tenants in Crete. Unfortunately, many sustainable and eco-friendly features remain unreliable and not sustainable at all.

Waste Management Practices

A Case Study Example

This net-zero detached house, designed and constructed by ARENCOS, is an exceptional project that successfully illustrates how careful design and biophilic practice activities can positively impact both construction operability and environmental integrity.

Our advisors divided construction and demolition waste into four main types as follows: materials which are (1) potentially valuable in construction and which can easily be reused/recycled, including concrete, stone masonry, bricks, tiles/pipes, and soil; (2) materials not capable of being recycled on-site but may be recycled elsewhere, including timber, glass, plastic and metal, (3) materials not easily recycled or which required special care and disposal, including chemicals, asbestos and plaster and (4) materials not capable of been recycled. Key highlights from the off-grid house in Akrotiri included:

  • Whenever possible, used wood that has been certified by the Forest Council.
  • Preference was specified to construction materials that contained a high percentage of recycled content. The house produced less than four tonnes of construction waste (not including excavation waste) compared to the average of 14 tonnes of waste generated on an average 3-bed detached house in the same area.
  • Materials with high recycling rates that are reclaimed, salvaged, or refurbished: The construction site achieved an overall recycling rate of 90%, and 98% of excavation waste was recycled.
  • The house met the highest biophilic design standards and achieved net zero carbon emissions.
  • The house holds an Energy Performance rating of A. The average rating for a similar property in the area is C.


The Facts

Demolition represents 85% of the CDW while new construction represents only 15% of total CDW produced. However, the types and composition of onsite wastes are highly variable, depending on the construction/demolition techniques used.

Implementing best practices on your projects can save you money, along with many other benefits for the environment and the circular economy:

  • Reduced CO2 Emissions
  • Increased Environmental Performance
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Enhanced Building
  • Sustainability
  • Reduced Construction Costs
  • Enhanced Ecotech and Sustainable Construction
  • Improved Procurement Practices
  • Improved Waste Composition and Quantification
  • Reduce Project Costs
Off-Grid Houses in Crete - Zero net energy design by ARENCOS
Off-Grid Residential Property in Chania, Crete

Construction Waste Management in Crere: Plan Design & Development

Ensuring solid and flexible design decisions not only mitigate waste generation in the first place but also significantly improve the sustainable character and circular economy of a project.

The Zero Waste Approach of ARENCOS covers this topic in detail and focuses on the seven Designing out Waste (DoW) principles:

  • Prioritizing materials that are harvested and manufactured locally or regionally.
  • Designing with a focus on materials that contain a high percentage of recycled content.
  • Designing for waste-efficient projects
  • Designing for materials sustainable operation and maintenance
  • Designing for off-site construction
  • Designing for re-use
  • Designing for green buildings compliance.

Construction projects should always plan and design to avoid waste being produced on-site, however where this is not possible, it is important to follow the waste management hierarchy (Figure 3):

Reduce the amount of waste generated, by means of waste prevention measures.

Re-use materials to avoid waste being created.

Recycle materials from sites where materials cannot be re-used.

This guide is aimed to present some of the best Waste Prevention opportunities and methods to effectively manage the waste generated during the construction, renovation and demolition of buildings.

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