Guide to help green construction

Demand for greener construction materials has been growing, but until now developers and builders have not been able to ensure the credibility of the recycled material they have purchased.

However, all that is now set to change after WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) unveiled a new guide for manufacturers of building products about labelling their products.

The snappily-named The Rules of Thumb Guide to Recycled Content in Construction Products, takes into account European Commission guidance and sets out the rules by which materials can be classed as recycled.

It is intended to make it easier for developers to comply with existing and forthcoming environmental legislation and targets set by planning authorities.

Mark Collinson from WRAP, who was involved in commissioning the research into recycled construction materials, said: “”The Rules of Thumb guidance should enable clarity and consistency in the way that recycled content is calculated and reported.

“It will also help to clarify those few situations where further, more technical, interpretation has been required in the past.”

Likely legislation on waste from construction sites and increases in landfill taxes are expected to increase the amount of recycled materials that will be available for use in building products – which WRAP said makes the guide even more important.

The guide has already received support within the construction industry.

Steve Millward, environmental and quality director for major builders merchant Jewson – a member of the Builders Merchants Federation – said: “We have found that higher recycled content products are being requested by our customers.

“This document lays down useful guidance for manufacturers and suppliers to determine what is, and what is not, classed as recycled content.”

Kate Martin

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