Skip to main content
European Commission logo

Reccomendations and basis for desicion for sustainable mineral resource management; focus civil engineering (ASTRA2005/004)

Switzerland Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Demolition of built structures produces vast and increasing amounts of mineral waste materials. In Switzerland, the majority of these materials is downcycled or landfilled. The consequences of different ends of life options on ecological, economic and social sustainability are yet unknown.
This project aims at developing recommendations for optimized management of waste construction materials. These recommendations should result in minimal environmental burdens and an optimal contribution to a sustainable development.


The main objective of the project is a development of a tool for assessing strategies for use of recycled mineral building materials and for developing recommendations on how to match supply and demand of mineral waste materials from civil engineering and building constructions, considering economic, ecologic and social aspects in order to optimise the overall impacts on sustainable development.


In the project, first, the qualities and quantities of future waste materials (supply) will be determined by dynamic material flux analysis (MFA).

For the same period of time, the demand of mineral material and their respective quality for civil engineering and building construction will be forecast. Using an agent analysis we will investigate the prerequisites for owners, planners and builders to use recycled mineral material in new constructions.

The project results, together with the results of supporting Empa projects, will be used to determine the potential demand for materials from recycled mineral demolition waste. Various scenarios will be developed and the environmentally sound alternatives investigated in a hybride material flux / Life Cycle Analysis (MFA/LCA).

Beside that, economic aspects will be investigated and quantified using the concept of industry analysis. Social aspects will be analysed based on expert interviews with the main stakeholders as well as consensus building workshops.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The main result of the project is a report summarising the project outputs. They are the following:

  • Supply and demand of mineral building materials was analyzed and modeled.
  • Scenarios and strategies of an ecological building material management were developed and assessed 

To integrate various sub-perspectives of these issues in a consistent format, a conceptual framework was developed. The  framework includes four modules:

  • Demand;
  • Offer;
  • Supply and demand (agent-based);
  • Environmental impacts.

Decisions of the key players regarding the demand for mineral materials from demolition  were quantified using a survey. The  builders´ decision was primarily based on the recommendation of the engineers. In summary it can be said that demolition materials in civil engineering are well established. But the recycled concrete  in building construction is still a niche product. 

It was found that according to information provided by the key players, the proportion of recycled concrete could be increased to almost 50%.  Combined with a price advantage  100% of demoltion of concrete  and around 50% of the mixed demolition materials could be reused. On the other hand both economic incentives  or public initiatives by oneself can hardly increase the reuse of these materials.  

Innovation aspects

Finding ways how to increase usage of recycled building materials.

Policy implications

Environmental policy.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


Contribute! Submit your project

Do you wish to submit a project or a programme? Head over to the Contribute page, login and follow the process!