A systematic process for management of commercial and industrial decommissioning and demolition materials has been developed to allow the application of a carbon management metric in engineering front end loading analysis and project pro forma budgetary planning. Besides enhancing the monetary return, this process also allows the capture of quantitative and qualitative benefits that accrue to the project carbon footprint. This process is presented to demonstrate an enhancement of the traditional D&D by including a carbon management metric. Historically, D&D of infrastructure was seen as a necessary step to be accomplished as quickly as possible to make way for a buildable site. Except for materials that had an easily-extracted or a boutique-application value, the bulk of those materials was considered to be waste and handled by disposal in landfills. When landfill space was not constrained; project margins were less restricted; climate change drivers were considered neither important nor consequential for analysis; and, the regulatory incentives for Brownfield redevelopment did not exist, such materials management was sensible. The process presented herein can be applied to typical (i.e., full-scale) Brownfield redevelopment projects for commercial and industrial facilities, as well as sub-scale, unit process demolition or renovation projects. The described process has been applied to two large, full-scale Brownfield redevelopment projects in the Southeastern US. Beneficial outcomes from application of this process included avoidance of unnecessary impact to landfill capacities; appropriate on-site and off-site re-use of viable material; extraction of supplemental monetary value; avoidance of unnecessary monetary outlay; and, quantitative measurement of the net positive impact on carbon management. The approach presented herein addresses the absence of carbon management in the D&D process and the superimposed business decision. The approach anticipates the eventual top-down application of local, State or Federal regulations to achieve that end. Accordingly, this process goes beyond the simplistic assessment of percent materials recycled; instead, it provides a verifiable quantitative system to demonstrate the actual value provided to a project by using carbon management as a principal project driver and success measurement metric.
The ever-increasing constraints on existing landfill space and siting of new landfills; the success of land revitalization programs; and, the need to evaluate projects from a fully-integrated resource impact analysis viewpoint is resulting in more focus on how decommissioning and demolition (D&D) wastes are handled. Re-cycling and reclamation of a variety of materials is becoming more common, compared to their former disposal simply as unwanted wastes that were by-products of new project development. Although greenhouse gases (GHG) are a growing concern from a domestic regulatory standpoint (USEPA 2009), this metric has yet to be considered in the D&D planning and decision-making process. Some European countries have begun incorporating the carbon credit analysis into everyday life. For example, consumer products have begun to include carbon footprint labeling (The Economist 2011). Such means of reviewing consumer products will likely begin to filter into the domestic regulatory mainstreams, eventually requiring project development decisions to be made not just with an economic outlook but also with consideration of the carbon impact on the integrated natural resource pool.
While the metric for planning and execution of new project development regarding D&D wastes has been and currently is economic-based, the work presented herein describes the addition of a carbon management metric to assist in the integrated decision management of D&D wastes.