BBP releases market research for commercial fitout waste

Fitout waste

The Better Buildings Partnership has released market research exploring why waste occurs in commercial building fitouts and what can be done about it, with particular focus on the materials that dominate the fitout waste stream. The characteristics of each material and aspects of its usage are explored in the report to determine how to improve diversion from landfill.

The research, conducted by the UTS Institute of Sustainable Futures for the Partnership, is the first of its kind in Australia. The ISF conducted in-depth interviews with industry participants, ranging from architects and property managers through to contractors and manufacturers. The interviews uncovered the myriad of issues and day-to-day problems that make it hard to institute a less wasteful, circular economy. The study places these problems in the context of the whole system in order to highlight possible solutions.

The factors that influence resource recovery

Four factors were consistently mentioned as significantly influencing the level of resource recovery, common to all materials and stages of the fitout process. These are time, cost, transport distances and contamination.

Impactful materials

In the interviews we asked participants to identify the main materials in the typical fitout waste stream. The same few materials were consistently nominated as the main contributors:

  • Plasterboard, with or without the framing and other partition elements
  • Ceiling tiles, with and without the grids
  • Carpet
  • Packaging
  • Furniture, particularly workstations, and the resultant MDF and particleboard

Download the report >