GN6.5: Waste management during refurbishment and fit-out

Guidance Note purpose 

The purpose of this Guidance Note is to provide guidance to asset managers, property managers and facilities managers in relation to the management of waste during refurbishment or fit-out activities. 

Context 

Refurbishment and fit-out activities represent ‘abnormal’ operating conditions within a property management setting.  It is important that procedures are in place to ensure that the activities that accompany refurbishment and fit-out are appropriately managed. 

From a waste management perspective, a Waste Management Plan is a central document that sets out the way in which waste associated with the refurbishment or fit-out project will be managed. 

The effectiveness of the Waste Management Plan will be influenced by how well a range of other factors associated with the project are managed.  These factors include: 

  • Increased vehicle movements to and from site. 
  • Increased numbers of contractors present on site. 
  • Reduced space in loading bays, service yards and/or car parks. 

Importance 

The benefits of managing waste associated with refurbishment and fit-out projects align with the broad range of environmental and business benefits associate with the adoption of the waste management hierarchy and general good waste management practice. 

As refurbishment and fit-out projects take place outside of ‘normal’ property management operating conditions, it is important that specific consideration is given to managing the associated waste in line with a property’s existing waste management arrangements.  This will contribute to the ongoing control of waste related risks and opportunities. 

The benefits of managing waste associated with refurbishment and fit-out projects can include: 

  • Contributing towards legal compliance, for example, in relation to duty of care. 
  • Reducing costs of materials and waste management services, which, in turn, can enable lower project costs. 
  • Maintaining constructive engagement with occupiers, as well as other property stakeholders, by demonstrating environmental responsibility. 

Managing waste during refurbishment and fit-out can also support property rating and certification schemes, such as SKA, for example.   

Responsibilities & Interests

The table below summarises the key activities associated with refurbishment and fit-out activities, and highlights where asset managers, property managers and facilities managers are likely to have a responsibility or specific interest. 

  • AM - Asset Manager
  • PM - Property Manager
  • FM - Facilities Manager

1. Waste Management Plan  

Stakeholder:

2. Vehicle access and movement 

Stakeholder:

3. Contractors on site 

Stakeholder:

4. Reductions in space in loading bays, service yards and/or car parks 

Stakeholder:

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How to

Intro

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While the management of waste during a refurbishment or fit-out project is the responsibility of project’s main contractor, asset, property and facilities managers are likely to have interest in the associated Waste Management Plan, and ensuring that this plan is aligned with the property’s wider waste management arrangements. 

Property and facilities managers also have a role in coordinating activities at a property that may have the potential to influence a refurbishment or fit-out project, and the effective management of associated waste. 

1. Waste arising

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A Waste Management Plan should be prepared for the refurbishment and fit-out project.  This plan should set out the expected waste profile relating to the project, along with the arrangements for managing waste to achieve targets relating to waste generation and disposal methods. 

The Waste Management Plan should ensure that waste arising from the activities is managed in accordance with the waste hierarchy and either minimised through well managed procurement, managed separately to the wider building waste management system, segregated to recover as much material as possible for reuse or recycling, and collected at a frequency that allows the process to work smoothly. 

While the preparation and maintenance of a Waste Management Plan for a refurbishment or fit-out project is the responsibility of the main contractor, it is important that property and facilities managers, and where relevant, asset managers, are consulted and agree with the plan. 

It is also possible that facilities managers agree to undertaken specific waste management tasks in relation to the refurbishment or fit-out project. 

2. Vehicle movements to and from site

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A refurbishment or fit-out project may involve an increase in vehicles requiring access to and movement within the property site.  This can include both vehicles delivering materials and those providing waste services to the project. 

It is important that the property manager, or main contractor in co-ordination with the property manager, make resource available to check vehicles in and differentiate between whether they are servicing the building as a whole, or the refurbishment or fit out activity. 

3. Contractors on site

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A refurbishment or fit-out project will involve an increase in the number of contractors on site.  It is important that both new contractors are aware of waste management arrangements for the project they are engaged to work on, as well as that contractors on existing projects are aware of the rules relating to engagement with the refurbishment or fit-out project. 

It is important that the property manager engages the main contractor for the refurbishment or fit-out project and other projects on site to consider necessary waste related briefings at agreed intervals to all contractors attending site to ensure all fully understand the waste management arrangements and conditions of permits/permissions. 

4. Space in loading bays, service yards and/or car parks

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A refurbishment or fit-out project is likely to place temporary pressure on space for materials storage, waste management provision, parking, and welfare facilities which are fully segregated from the rest of the property. 

It is important that the property manager engages the main contractor for the refurbishment or fit-out project to understand the likely requirements for space as part of project planning.  These arrangements should be reviewed at regular intervals, including any feedback from occupiers regarding the extent to which arrangements for managing space are effective. 

Related Guidance Notes 

The following Guidance Notes contain related information: 

Additional resources