Inderscience Publishers

Sustainable deconstruction and the role of knowledge-based systems

The traditional approach in the construction industry has been to demolish and landfill; however, this generates enormous volumes of solid waste and wastes valuable resources. As information becomes readily available, deconstruction can replace demolition as the desired alternative; and the markets for salvaged materials will grow. As these methods evolve, formalised procedures need to be developed to improve technology and information capture. Web-based systems provide a mechanism towards that which can serve this purpose. Knowledge Management (KM) techniques are increasingly effective in the management and reuse of 'knowledge artefacts' in process management and improvement. The KM approach can optimise the process, and facilitate standardised analyses, guiding the user through existing 'best practices', optimised to the specific deconstruction process, and improving process efficiency and effectiveness. We discuss how KM systems can provide a systematic approach to the acquisition, analysis and dissemination for the deconstruction industry. We describe informational sources that can be utilised for this purpose, and provide a framework for the integration of these information sources. The principal contribution of this paper is the exposition of the informational requirements and the use of KM in managing these informational sources to the problem of sustainability.

Keywords: knowledge-based systems, KBS, recycling, reuse, sustainable deconstruction, waste management, construction industry, knowledge management, KM, environmental management

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