Planning Without Waste

  • Adolfo F. L. BarattaEmail author
  • Laura Calcagnini
  • Fabrizio Finucci
  • Antonio Magarò
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


This paper aims to assess the benefits of a Design for Environment (DfE) at the design stage, according to the goal of “not harming” first. The promotion of conscious solutions for waste reduction and proper waste and resources management must necessarily employ easily available resources, low environmental and economic impact, adopt recycled materials and products, and use low-complexity solutions also due to a limited number of materials. Communication is a relevant item too, because effective information and data transmission between operators reduces errors and, consequently, waste generation. The DfE principles can be applied for buildings that last as long as possible by intervening with maintenance technologies, or alternatively, with a limited lifetime but planning their end of life.

In either case, easy to maintain or easily to dismantle, environmental benefits can be obtained.

Decisions taken during the design phase determine the kind of waste that will be produced and affect the way it is collected and disposed of.

In DfE, a waste elimination or contraction planning, as well as a proper management of waste and resources designing, is necessary:
  • Use easily available resources, with low environmental and economic impact, and carefully evaluate the transport phase

  • Mainly adopt recycled, recovery or, at least, recyclable items

  • Use low-complexity solutions because the involvement of a growing number of operators generates more waste because of implemented design changes

  • Communicate effectively because the transmission of information and data between operators reduces the possibility of errors and, consequently, waste generation

From general point of view, it is possible to apply the aforementioned principles through two distinct strategies, resulting in projects that include:
  • The adoption of reliable and environmentally friendly materials and solutions, capable of making buildings that last as long as possible by intervening with maintenance technologies

  • The construction of buildings that provide a limited period of lifetime only when they are functionally and technologically appropriate, planning their dismantling and recovery

The availability of second raw materials is crucial for the industrial sectors, especially for emerging realities such as Asian ones that have redesigned the entire raw and second raw materials market. The objective must be the decrease of waste production, which also depends on how a building is conceived. Everything must help to make a more conscious approach to the responsibility of the designers. At design stage, it is possible to facilitate the use of economically and environmentally friendly materials or the use of reversible systems such as the dry-assembled ones.

Integrating the environmental topic into design, especially the one related to waste management, is the result of a continuous process fueled by innovative materials and a better understanding of existing maintenance practices. This process, which is by definition infinite and needs pragmatic eco-tools, describes scenarios that allow to imagine a variety of possible developments.

All this is needed to pass definitively “from the incivility of waste, the culture of dissipation, the consuming and disposing of consumption, the squander of non-renewable waste, to the civilization of recycling, reuse, highest conservation of raw materials, especially if not renewable, in conclusion to the reduction of waste.”


Design for environment Recycling Maintenance Waste 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adolfo F. L. Baratta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura Calcagnini
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Finucci
    • 1
  • Antonio Magarò
    • 1
  1. 1.Roma Tre University, Department of ArchitectureRomeItaly

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