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Wst 01 Construction waste management

Number of credits available Minimum standards
4 Yes


To promote resource efficiency via the effective management and reduction of construction waste.

Assessment Criteria

This issue is split into two parts:

The following is required to demonstrate compliance for:

Construction resource efficiency

Up to three credits

  1. Non-hazardous construction waste (excluding demolition and excavation waste) generated by the building’s design and construction meets or exceeds the following resource efficiency benchmarks:
BREEAM credits

Amount of waste generated per 100m2 (gross internal floor area)

  m3 tonnes
One credit 13.3 11.1
Two credits 7.5 6.5
Three credits 3.4 3.2
Exemplary Level 1.6 1.9

Note - Volume (m3) is actual volume of waste (not bulk volume)

  1. There is a compliant Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP).
  2. Where existing buildings on the site will be demolished a pre-demolition audit of any existing buildings, structures or hard surfaces is completed to determine if, in the case of demolition, refurbishment/reuse is feasible and, if not, to maximise the recovery of material from demolition for subsequent high-grade/value applications. The audit must be referenced in the SWMP and cover:
    1. Identification of the key refurbishment/demolition materials.
    2. Potential applications and any related issues for the reuse and recycling of the key refurbishment and demolition materials.

Diversion of resources from landfill

One credit

  1. The following percentages of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste (where applicable) generated by the project have been diverted from landfill:
BREEAM credits Type of waste Volume Tonnage
One credit Non demolition 70% 80%
Demolition 80% 90%
Exemplary level Non demolition 85% 90%
Demolition 85% 95%
  1. There is a compliant Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP).
  2. Waste materials will be sorted into separate key waste groups see Table 28 (according to the waste streams generated by the scope of the works) either onsite or offsite through a licensed contractor for recovery.

Exemplary level criteria

The following outlines the exemplary level criteria to achieve an innovation credit for this BREEAM issue:

  1. Non-hazardous construction waste generated by the building’s design and construction is no greater than the exemplary level resource efficiency benchmark (outlined in the above table).
  2. The percentage of non hazardous construction and demolition waste (if relevant) diverted from landfill meets or exceeds the exemplary level percentage benchmark (outlined in the above table)
  3. All key waste groups are identified for diversion from landfill in the pre-construction stage SWMP.

Compliance Notes





Compliant site waste management plan See criteria 2,3,5 & 9

A compliant site waste management plan is one that defines:

  1. A target benchmark for resource efficiency i.e. m3 of waste per 100m2 or tonnes of waste per 100m2
  2. Procedures and commitments for minimising non-hazardous waste in line with the benchmark
  3. Procedures for minimising hazardous waste
  4. Procedures for monitoring, measuring and reporting hazardous and non-hazardous site waste
  5. Procedures for sorting, reusing and recycling construction waste into defined waste groups (see additional guidance section), either on site or through a licensed external contractor
  6. The name or job title of the individual responsible for implementing the above.


Diversion from landfill See criteria 4, 8 & 9

Diversion from landfill includes:

  1. Reusing the material on site (in-situ or for new applications)
  2. Reusing the material on other sites
  3. Salvaging or reclaiming the material for reuse
  4. Returning material to the supplier via a ‘take-back’ scheme
  5. Recovery of the material from site by an approved waste management contractor and recycled or sent for energy recovery.


Pre-demolition audit See criterion 3 A pre-demolition audit should be carried out using an appropriate methodology. The ICE has produced guidance on pre-demolition audits, including ‘The Demolition Protocol’ and the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP)1A Report on the Demolition Protocol, commissioned by London Remade prepared by EnviroCentre Ltd. also provides guidance.


SWMP See criteria 2,3,5 & 9

Since April 2008 any construction project in England costing over £300k requires a Site Waste Management Plan. To achieve any of the construction waste management credits the assessed development, regardless of value or locality, must have a SWMP compliant with best practice (see relevant definitions in additional guidance section).


Multi-residential developments with CSH assessed dwellings See criteria 2,3,5 & 9

For buildings with self-contained dwellings also being assessed under the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), the following applies:

The number of credits achieved under the CSH assessment cannot be directly applied to a BREEAM assessment of a multi-residential building due to differences in assessment criteria between the two schemes.

Where the credits available for issue Was 2 Construction Site Waste management of the CSH has been achieved, the SWMP is also compliant with the requirements of this issue. However, where the project also includes the demolition of existing buildings/elements, the SWMP will need to comply with the Demolition requirement defined above to qualify for credits.


Limited site space for segregation and storage See criterion 6 Where space on site is too limited to allow materials to be segregated, a waste contractor may be used to separate and process recyclable materials off site. Similarly, manufacturers take-back schemes could also be used. Where this is the case, sufficient documentary evidence must be produced which demonstrates that segregation of materials is carried out to the agreed levels and that materials are reused/recycled as appropriate.


Where there is no official external waste contractor licensing scheme A review must be carried out by the contractor, design team, or client of the waste contractor’s practices to ensure they are in line with the assessment criteria.


Waste from temporary support structures

Any waste generated on site for the purposes of the development (excluding demolition and excavation waste) must be taken account of in the assessment of this issue. If temporary support structures, or any other materials/system brought on site to facilitate construction of a building, enter the waste stream (albeit for recycling), then they will need to be classified as construction waste and therefore contribute to the construction waste benchmark necessary to facilitate assessment with this issue.

If the support structure is reused by the contractor (or by another contractor) on other sites, then it hasn’t been discarded and therefore doesn’t enter the waste stream – thus wouldn’t be included in the waste generated and hence the benchmark figures for this issue. The same would apply to timber formwork where re-used.

Schedule of Evidence

Ref Design stage
Post-construction stage

A copy of the compliant Site Waste Management Plan and where relevant, a copy of the pre-demolition audit AND/OR

Relevant section/clauses of the building specification or contract AND/OR

A letter from the client or their representative

Where relevant for multi-residential buildings:

Evidence in line with the Design Stage evidence requirements of the CSH Issue Was 2 OR

A copy of the Design Stage CSH certificate and report from the CSH online reporting system confirming the number of credits achieved for CSH Issue Was 2

A copy of the SWMP summary datasheets or equivalent monitoring records/report

Where relevant for multi-residential buildings:

Evidence in line with the Post Construction Stage evidence requirements of the CSH Issue Was 2 OR

A copy of the Post Construction Stage CSH certificate and report from the CSH online reporting system confirming the number of credits achieved for CSH Issue Was 2.

Additional Information

Relevant definitions

    design out waste
    reduce waste generated on site
    develop and implement procedures to sort and reuse/recycle construction waste on and off site (as applicable).
Data obtained from measuring and monitoring site construction waste can then be used to check performance against targets and benchmarks, analyse the effectiveness of any solutions implemented and strive for continual improvement
Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP)

SMARTWaste® is a web-based membership tool allowing users to measure and monitor construction-site impacts..

The tool can be used for:

This membership tool is frequently updated and offers the user flexibility, reporting and support. Templates are available to meet the latest BREEAM credits and can also be downloaded. More information is available at

Other tools for preparing, implementing and reviewing a RMP are available from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)

Best Practice SWMP
Best practice (site waste management) is a combination of commitments to:
    Design out waste (materials optimisation)
    Reduce waste generated on site
    Develop and implement procedures to sort and reuse/recycle construction waste on and off site (as applicable).
    Follow guidance from:
    1. DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
    2. BRE (Building Research Establishment Ltd)
    3. WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme)

Checklists and Tables

Table 28 Construction waste groups

European Waste Catalogue Key Group Examples
170102 Bricks Bricks
170101 Concrete Pipes, kerb stones, paving slabs, concrete rubble, precast and in situ
170604 Insulation Glass fibre, mineral wool, foamed plastic
1501 Packaging Paint pots, pallets, cardboard, cable drums, wrapping bands, polythene sheets
170201 Timber Softwood, hardwood, boards products such as plywood, chipboard, medium density fibreboard (MDF)
1602 Electrical and electronic equipment Electrical & electronic TVs, fridges, air-conditioning units, lamps equipment
200301 Canteen/office Office waste, canteen waste, vegetation
1301 Oils Hydraulic oil, engine oil, lubricating oil
1703 Asphalt and tar Bitumen, coal tars, asphalt
170103 Tiles and ceramics Ceramic tiles, clay roof tiles, ceramic, sanitary ware
1701 Inert Mixed rubble/excavation material, glass
1704 Metals Radiators, cables, wires, bars, sheet
170802 Gypsum Plasterboard, render, plaster, cement, fibre cement sheets, mortar
170203 Plastics Pipes, cladding, frames, non-packaging sheet
200307 Furniture Tables, chairs, desks, sofas
1705 Soils Soils, clays, sand; gravel, natural stone
Most relevant EWC Liquids Non-hazardous paints, thinners, timber treatments
Most relevant EWC Hazardous Defined in the Hazardous Waste List (HWL) of the European Waste Catalogue (EWC)
Most relevant EWC Floor coverings (soft) Carpets, vinyl flooring
Most relevant EWC Architectural Features Roof tiles, reclaimed bricks, fireplaces
170904 (Mixed) Mixed/ other Efforts should be made to categorise waste into the above categories wherever possible

Calculation procedures


Other information

BREEAM construction resource efficiency benchmarks

The resource efficiency benchmarks used in BREEAM have been derived using data collected from hundreds of real life projects using BREs SMARTWaste system. The BREEAM credits are aligned to the benchmarks as follows:

  1. One credit: Performance in the top 50% of projects (better than standard practice)
  2. Two credits: Performance in the top 25% of projects (good practice)
  3. Three credits: Performance in the top 10% of projects (best practice)
  4. Exemplary level: Performance in the top 5% of projects (exemplary practice)

For more information please go to

Why does BREEAM exclude demolition and excavation waste from the resource efficiency benchmarks?

BREEAM does not include demolition and excavation (D&E) waste in its resource efficiency benchmark, despite it often being the largest tonnage of waste on site, because the amount of D&E waste produced is site-dependant. Furthermore, it is not necessarily possible to reduce the amount of demolition waste (unless a decision is taken not to demolish in the first place).

Including D&E waste in an overall construction resource efficiency benchmark would:

  1. Not encourage sites with unavoidably large amounts of D&E waste to focus on reducing waste arising from construction materials (which would have further knock-on environmental impacts); and
  2. Mean that sites with little or no D&E waste would find compliance with the benchmark more straight forward, which would weaken the drivers for reducing construction waste resulting from the specification and use of new building materials.

BREEAM aims to ensure that, where D&E waste is generated, it is diverted from landfill and where possible reused for high grade use on site to reduce the volume of new materials produced/required in the supply chain (which themselves may go on to generate additional waste).

Tools for preparing, implementing and reviewing a SWMP

SMARTWaste Plan is a free web-based tool for preparing, implementing and reviewing a SWMP. This tool includes an integrated waste measurement tool which is aligned to defined waste groups. SMARTWaste Plan will manage all aspects of creating SWMPs and measuring waste generated on projects. Templates are available to meet the BREEAM credits and can also be downloaded.

The tool includes online waste measurement, industry waste benchmarks and links to BREMAP. Under the SMARTWaste membership scheme, energy and water consumption and the procurement of certified timber can also be monitored. A carbon calculator and economic assessment of waste will also be added to the system.

BREMAP is a geographical information system of waste management facilities. See