Minority reporting

The construction industry used to send skip after skip (after skip after skip…) of surplus building materials, excavated earth, packaging and old fit-out components to landfill sites without a thought. Since 2008, firms have spent a great deal of time trying to reuse or recycle it instead, to meet a government target of halving waste to landfill by 2012. But whatever they do with their waste, they’re still producing it in the first place. The next step is to eliminate it from the process altogether by designing buildings to use materials more efficiently. That’s where quantity surveyors come in – everyone agrees that measuring waste is the first step to managing it, so the experts in brick counting have a very important role to play. But how do you measure something that has never existed? In this piece for Modus, the magazine of the RICS, I investigated how the profession is rising to the challenge.

Author: Katie Puckett

I am an experienced journalist, copywriter and editor who has covered the built environment for nearly 20 years. I’ve interviewed thousands of senior executives, politicians and experts in many fields and travelled to report on stories throughout Europe, the US, the Gulf states and India. My articles have appeared in many business and professional titles including Building, Estates Gazette, Inside Housing, the Bartlett Review, Insurance Times and Lloyd’s Market. I am co-author, with architect Bill Gething, of Design for Climate Change, published by RIBA, and I launched and edit The Possible, a thought leadership magazine for global engineering firm WSP. I'm also co-founder of Wordmule, an editorial studio that specialises in buildings and cities.

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