Urban mining and buildings: A review of possibilities and limitations

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In recent years there has been growing interest in urban mining in buildings from various environmental and economic perspectives. Materials hidden in buildings are attractive alternatives to raw ones and building activities are responsible for a large share of urban waste in many societies. The paper presents an analysis of possibilities for urban mining in Amsterdam, initially focused on metals in residential buildings. Both global literature and local analysis suggest that performance in resource recovery from buildings is already as high as it can get. However, estimation of material content in buildings and of waste processing rates is far from reliable, accurate and precise enough to support such claims or identify possibilities for further improvement, including localization of resources in buildings and connections to building activities, in particular renovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • BIM (Building Information Modelling)
  • Buildings
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Renovation
  • Urban mining


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