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Assessing multiple criteria for the optimal location of a construction

and demolition waste management facility
Georgios Banias
*
, Charisios Achillas, Christos Vlachokostas, Nicolas Moussiopoulos, Sokratis Tarsenis
Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Box 483, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 18 December 2009
Received in revised form
21 April 2010
Accepted 23 April 2010
Keywords:
Construction and demolition waste
Building sector
End-of-life management
Multicriteria analysis
Sustainable development
a b s t r a c t
Construction industry is the most significant fields on a global scale, with respect to its economic,
technological, and environmental impact. Its rapid growth over the last decades has resulted in an
enormous increase of the produced construction and demolition waste, thus provoking a considerable
burden on the environment. The proposed methodological framework is aiming towards optimal loca-
tion of units of alternative construction and demolition waste management and it is following the path of
multicriteria analysis. For the problem under study, ELECTRE III technique is adopted. The decision
process presented requires the adoption of a number of logical steps mainly, clarification of the decision
criteria for selecting the optimal location (economical, environmental and social), the definition of their
relative significance and data assembly. The approach allows a robust parameter analysis in order to
evaluate and compare in detail all available alternatives. On top of that, sensitivity analysis is also
available, since parameter values in real life applications originate from estimations which are sometimes
more or less reliable. This paper presents an effort to interlace local acceptance, financial viability and
level of environmental quality which represents a vital issue for the particular waste stream’s
management efficiency. The methodology is implemented and demonstrated for the case of the Region
of Central Macedonia, Greece and can be employed either by private investors or public authorities in
other areas internationally.
Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) is produced from
the construction, renovation, repair and demolition of technical
structures, such as residential and commercial buildings, roads,
bridges, etc. The composition of CDW varies for these different
activities and structures. CDW often contains bulky and heavy
materials, including concrete, wood (from buildings), asphalt (from
roads and roofing shingles), gypsum (the main component of
drywall), metals, bricks, glass, plastics, salvaged building compo-
nents (doors, windows, and plumbing fixtures), earth and rock
fromclearing sites. More importantly, CDWmay contain hazardous
materials, such as asbestos and heavy metals. All these different
materials need to be managed in an environmentally sound and
economic feasible manner.
Construction industry is probably one of most significant fields
on a global scale, with respect to its economic, technological, and
environmental impact. In the European Union (EU-25), there are
about 2.3 million construction companies, contributing 9.8% to the
overall GDP and employing around 12 million people, which
account for 7.1% of the total European workforce. The rapid growth
of the construction industry worldwide has resulted to an enor-
mous increase of the produced CDW globally. In particular, CDW
constitutes the largest stream within the EU accounting for more
than 450 million tonnes per year. Excluding earth and excavated
road material, the amount of CDW generated is estimated to be
roughly 180 million tonnes per year [1,2]. Despite the significance
of this particular waste stream, in many countries there is still a lack
of accurate information on the field, as CDW is not studied sepa-
rately from the rest municipal solid waste (MSW).
Up to recently, the most common practice in the field of CDW
management was to discard all waste materials and debris to
landfills, frequently in the same landfills that were used for the
disposal of MSW [3]. This practice cannot in any case be considered
as a proper management practice for end-of-life building materials.
Even worse, there are many cases reported where CDWended up in
uncontrolled open dumps, not taking into account the severe
burden imposed upon the environment [4]. The environmental and
health impacts of such disposal and treatment methods for CDW
include apart from the aesthetic degradation, soil and water
* Corresponding author. Fax: þ302310996012.
E-mail address: gbanias@aix.meng.auth.gr (G. Banias).
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Building and Environment
j ournal homepage: www. el sevi er. com/ l ocat e/ bui l denv
0360-1323/$ e see front matter Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2010.04.016
Building and Environment 45 (2010) 2317e2326
contamination, air pollution as a result of resulting fires, reduced
land and property values, destruction of open spaces and landscape
blight. In addition, heaps of CDW may include asbestos waste,
which poses a significant health risk, especially in building sites
which are later converted into playgrounds and residential
buildings [5].
The aforementioned practice has expanded to all the stages of
building materials’ lifecycles; production, construction, use, but
most significantly their end-of-life management e e.g. majority of
existing buildings in modern cities have not been designed so that
building materials are reused or recycled at the end of their useful
life [6]. There are already many countries that have recognised the
problem and the significance of environmentally sound CDW
management. However, changes still occur in a rather slowpace [7].
To date, a lot of effort has been directed towards assessing
multiple criteria in several thematic areas in the field of building
environment, such as the identification of available end-of-life
building materials reuse options [e.g. [8]], improvements in the
building’s life cycle performance through their better design [e.g.
[9]], or overall eco-efficiency evaluation of technical structures [e.g.
[10]]. However, CDW optimal end-of-life management constitutes
also a critical issue for building materials’ life cycle, and conse-
quently minimising environmental impacts of uncontrolled discard
would substantially reinforce sustainability in the building envi-
ronment. Adequate infrastructure is a prerequisite and one of the
most crucial aspects of an efficient waste management scheme [11].
Taking into account the investment costs for the development of
a reverse supply chain network, one of the vital aspects for any
CDW collective take-back and recycling scheme relates to the
required Units of Alternative Management (UAMs). In the material
to follow, a multicriteria assessment aiming towards optimal
location of UAMs is developed and demonstrated, combining
environmental, economical and social criteria, in an effort to
interlace local acceptance and financial viability. In contrast to the
majority of the currently employed methodologies, the presented
creates a tractable interface between mathematical modelling and
policy making since the Multicriteria Methodology Framework
(MMF) enables the evaluation of sites for the location of CDW
management facilities in terms of their combined impact on envi-
ronmental, social and economic aspects of alternative scenarios. In
addition, waste management models have been thoroughly
employed in the past, with a thorough review to be presented in
the work of Morrissey and Browne [12]. Notwithstanding the fact
that it has been since early 1980’s that Ross and Soland [13] stated
that practical problems involving the location of public facilities are
multicriteria problems and ought to be modelled as such, literature
hardly studied the problem of special waste streams, such as CDW,
focussing mostly on municipal solid waste management [e.g.
[14e22]]. In this light, emphasis needs to be given also to social
criteria, e.g. Not In My Back Yard syndrome, which are often
neglected [12]. In our knowledge, this is the first attempt to seek
optimal UAM location solutions.
2. Methodology
The development of a UAM requires consideration of a critical
number of mutually conflicting criteria in order to select the
optimal location among alternative scenarios. Most importantly,
the decision maker needs to consider; (i) development and oper-
ation costs, (ii) existence of all necessary basic infrastructures (road
network, available workforce etc.), (iii) distance fromother existing
UAM, (iv) distance from sanitary landfills and (v) social acceptance.
The proposed methodology follows the path of multicriteria anal-
ysis, since these mathematical models are able to take into account
conflicting criteria in the decision making process [e.g. [15,23e26]].
In the literature, applications of multicriteria methods gain wide
acceptance in the last few years over quantitative models, as the
former embody many variables, quantitative as well as qualitative
in their analysis [27]. The special characteristics of several scenarios
are simultaneously assessed and the alternatives according to
different criteria are classified in order to export the optimal
solution. The literature lists a large number of multicriteria analysis
techniques available. It should be noticed that there are no better or
worse multicriteria analysis techniques, but there are techniques
more or less appropriate according to the problem under study and
its specific characteristics.
For the problem under study, ELECTRE III [28] technique is
promoted. This particular method was chosen from the different
ELECTRE family methods, mainly in relation to the imprecision and
uncertainty of some available data. ELECTRE III uses three pseudo-
criteria in order to represent all the different aspects of the problem
and starts by comparing each location action with each of the
others in relation to each criterion. It aggregates the results of all
the comparisons and builds the model for the fuzzy outranking
relation according to the notion of concordance and discordance.
The method, in the second phase of fuzzy relation exploitation,
constructs two classifications (complete pre-orders) through
a descending and an ascending distillation procedure. A final clas-
sification of the actions is elaborated as the intersection of the two
complete pre-orders. A sensitivity analysis tests the result by
varying the values of the main parameters and observing the effect
on the final outcome. The comparative analysis of the classifications
leads to a final robust result or to a model re-analysis [29].
The adoption of ELECTRE III is selected, based on its merits over
other available options. ELECTRE III approach is a widespread
multicriteria analysis technique with a long history of successful
practical applications in various thematic areas such as environ-
ment, energy, construction etc. A significant advantage of the
method over other methods is its utility in examining environ-
mental issues [30]. In addition, ELECTRE III has the ability to
incorporate a large number of evaluation criteria for selecting the
UAM location, coupled with the possibility of a large number of
different decision makers [e.g. [31]]. The optimal site for the loca-
tion of a UAM may vary depending on the type of the decision
maker and whether private or public investments are considered.
Moreover, the uncertainty of available data in many cases is likely to
drive decision makers to misleading conclusions. ELECTRE III
requires the determination of three thresholds used: (i) preference
threshold (p), (ii) indifference threshold (q) and (iii) veto threshold
(v). ELECTRE III, with the inclusion of the three aforementioned
thresholds, is considered to better adapt to such uncertainties [29].
The thresholds aim at modelling realistically the decision
maker’s preference, which gradually increases from indifference to
strict preference. Fixing their values involves a significant subjec-
tive input by the decision maker; at the same time they capture the
uncertainty of the criteria evaluation [32,33]. Thresholds are not
experimental values to be approximated to, as closely as possible,
but they are rather values for assessing the appropriateness of
planned action, necessary for representing approximate or arbi-
trary features of the data. Rogers and Bruen [30] proposed
a comprehensive, approach for specifying realistic limits for p
i
and
q
i
within the context of an environmental appraisal, where error/
uncertainty and human sensitivity to different levels of the crite-
rion are taken into account. According to them it is imperative that
p
i
and q
i
are chosen in a rational and defendable manner, and be
explicitly estimated, rather than pick some arbitrary values whose
effect must be examined later by sensitivity analysis [32,34e36]. By
utilising those thresholds, the technique does not address only the
two ends of the problem, but also intermediate levels in between.
Last but not least, with the ELECTRE III, the decision maker is able to
G. Banias et al. / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 2317e2326 2318
take into account either quantitative (e.g. distances, price of sites
etc.) or qualitative criteria (e.g. aesthetics, landscape degradation
etc.), as the technique shows a very good fit of data in such
applications.
In the presented methodology the decision process towards
optimal location of UAMs requires the adoption of a number of
logical steps, as those presented in the flowchart of Fig. 1. The
methodology is described in its generic form for the potential
development of n UAMs.
Initially, the decision maker needs to undertake a thorough
survey on available sites (alternatives) suitable for the development
of a UAM in the area under examination. This is followed by the
clarification of the decision criteria for selecting the optimal loca-
tion, together with their relative significance (weighting factors).
This step allows the incorporation of specific strategic goals
according to the stakeholders’ philosophy to the decision process.
The presented multicriteria approach requires clear definition of
the parameters for the valuation of all available alternatives and
their detailed comparison. It should be emphasised that the exact
number of criteria for the decision making process depends on the
decision maker [37]. As soon as the criteria and their weight are
clearly defined, data collection follows. This quantification of
alternative locations’ values for the selected criteria is considered
the most time and capital demanding task in the decision making
process.
Multicriteria evaluation of sites for the location of the UAM
consists a problem which is formulated by using a set of alterna-
tives (A
1
, A
2
, A
3
.) and a set of criteria (C
1
, C
2
, C
3
.). The evaluation
of criterion j for alternative A is described as V
j
(A). The approach
adopted in the framework of this analysis uses a ranking scheme,
Fig. 1. Methodological framework.
G. Banias et al. / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 2317e2326 2319
following ELECTRE III principles, based on binary outranking rela-
tions in two major concepts; “Concordance” (c
j
) when alternative
A
1
outranks alternative A
2
if a sufficient majority of criteria are in
favour of alternative A
1
and “Non-Discordance” (d
j
) when the
concordance condition holds, none of the criteria in the minority
should be opposed too strongly to the outranking of A
2
by A
1
. The
assertion that A
1
outranks A
2
is characterised by a credibility index
which permits knowing the true degree of this assertion [38]. To
compare a pair of alternatives (A
1
, A
2
) for each criterion, the
assertion “A
1
outranks A
2
” is evaluated with the help of pseudo-
criteria. As already discussed, the pseudo-criterion is built with two
thresholds, namely indifference (q
j
) and preference (p
j
), for which
the following apply:
- When V
j
(A
1
) ÀV
j
(A
2
) q
j
, then no difference between alter-
natives A
1
and A
2
for the specific criterion j under study is
identified. In this case c
j
(A
1
, A
2
) ¼0.
- When V
j
(A
1
) ÀV
j
(A
2
) >p
j
, then A
1
is strictly preferred to A
2
for
criterion j. In this case c
j
(A
1
, A
2
) ¼1.
For a criterion j and a pair of alternatives (A
1
, A
2
), the concor-
dance index is defined as follows:
8
>
<
>
:
V
j
ðA
1
Þ ÀV
j
ðA
2
Þ q
j
5c
j
ðA
1
; A
2
Þ ¼ 0
q
j
< V
j
ðA
1
Þ Àg
j
ðA
2
Þ < p
j
5c
j
ðA
1
; A
2
Þ ¼
V
j
ðA1ÞÀV
j
ðA2ÞÀq
j
p
j
Àq
j
V
j
ðA
1
Þ ÀV
j
ðA
2
Þ p
j
5c
j
ðA
1
; A
2
Þ ¼ 1
A global concordance index C
A1A2
for each pair of alternatives
(A
1
, A
2
), is computed with the concordance index c
j
(A
1
, A
2
) of each
criterion j:
C
A1A2
¼
X
n
j ¼1
w
j
$c
j
ðA
1
; A
2
Þ
X
n
j ¼1
w
j
;
where w
j
is the weight of criterion j.
As already mentioned, a discordance index d
j
(A
1
, A
2
) is also
taken into consideration for all pairs of alternatives and each
criterion j. Discordance index (d
j
) is evaluated with the help of
pseudo-criteria with a veto threshold (v
j
), which represents the
maximum difference V
j
(A
1
) ÀV
j
(A
2
) acceptable to not reject the
assertion “A
1
outranks A
2
”, as follows:
- When V
j
(A
1
) ÀV
j
(A
2
) p
j
, then there is no discordance and
therefore d
j
(A
1
, A
2
) ¼0.
- When V
j
(A
1
) ÀV
j
(A
2
) >V
j
, then d
j
(A
1
, A
2
) ¼1.
Discordance index (d
j
) can be represented as follows:
8
>
<
>
:
V
j
ðA
2
Þ ÀV
j
ðA
1
Þ p
j
5d
j
ðA
1
; A
2
Þ ¼ 0
p
j
< V
j
ðA
2
Þ ÀV
j
ðA
1
Þ < v
j
5d
j
ðA
1
; A
2
Þ ¼
V
j
ðA2ÞÀV
j
ðA1ÞÀp
j
v
j
Àp
j
V
j
ðA
2
Þ ÀV
j
ðA
1
Þ v
j
5d
j
ðA
1
; A
2
Þ ¼ 1
The index of credibility d
A1A2
of the assertion “A
1
outranks A
2
” is
defined as follows:
d
A1A2
¼ C
A1A2
Y
j˛F
1 Àd
j
ðA
1
; A
2
Þ
1 ÀC
A1A2
; with
F ¼
È
j˛F; d
j
ðA
1
; A
2
ÞiC
A1A2
É
In the case that a veto threshold is exceeded for at least one of
the selected criteria, the index of credibility is null. In other words,
the assertion “A
1
outranks A
2
” is rejected. As regards the ranking
procedure of all available location alternatives A
j
, two complete
pre-orders are constructed through a descending and an ascending
distillationprocedure. In a nutshell, descending distillation refers to
the ranking from the best available alternative to the worst, while
ascending distillation refers to the ranking fromthe worst available
alternative to the best [29,39]. As a last step of the developed
methodology, sensitivity analysis is available, since parameter
values in real life applications originate fromestimations which are
sometimes more or less reliable (weighting factors, thresholds,
criteria qualitative values etc.).
3. Application in central Macedonia, Greece
The applicability of the proposed methodology is demonstrated
with its implementation in a real world case study in the Region of
Central Macedonia (RCM), Greece. The area is selected on the
grounds of the significant environmental problems encountered
[40]. The RCM is characterised by a considerable deficiency as
regards developed infrastructure in alternative waste management
facilities that are considered most critical for the study area’s
environmental quality. More specifically, only three UAMs are
already developed in the RCM, all located in the outskirts of the
Region’s capital, the city of Thessaloniki. The existing infrastructure
is considered to only partially satisfy the needs of local contractors,
construction and demolition companies. Notwithstanding the fact
that there is not any legislative framework concerning the alter-
native management of CDW in Greece currently enforced, the
country is expected to put into effect strict constraints on CDW
management, aligning national laws with the corresponding
European Directive [41]. A lot of efforts have taken place during the
last years, especially since the publication of a draft relevant Decree
[42]. In any case, the oncoming enforcement of alternative CDW
management, as well as the recognition of respectable market
chances through CDW recycling and re-introduction of second
hand building materials in the companies’ supply chains, are
expected to provide the basis for the development of a number of
UAMs within the RCM.
An effective legislation framework must provide adequate
safeguards to minimise the potential for environmental pollution,
while also diminishing costly disposal requirements. It should be
emphasised that in the area under consideration, due to the
absence of effective regulation and the lower level of control, land
disposal of CDW is not a rare phenomenon. The types of materials
found in CDW include not only the elements used as primary
building materials (wood, concrete, metal, drywall, asphalt), but
also various paints, sealants, adhesives and fasteners used in
construction. In this sense, apart from aesthetics and ecosystems
sustainability, potential CDW land disposal can present a consider-
able threat of groundwater contamination because of trace
amounts of hazardous constituents.
According to the MMF, the first logical step refers to the selec-
tion of alternative location sites for the development of the UAM
(Fig. 1). After a thorough survey, seven available fields were alto-
gether selected, taking into account the required land for the
development of a medium sized such facility. Those locations are
depicted in Fig. 2. Additionally, existing infrastructure of UAMs in
the RCM is also illustrated.
In any study concerning site locations, the most important
question is defining the criteria to be considered. Taking into
account the nature of CDW impacts to the local environment,
a number of different criteria aiming towards optimal location of
UAMs is developed and demonstrated, combining environmental,
economical and social criteria. This approach represents an effort
to interlace environmental quality, local acceptance and financial
viability, considering also potential technical constraints for the
G. Banias et al. / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 2317e2326 2320
specific characteristics of the area under consideration. In this
context, location of facilities is a multicriteria problem and ought
to be modelled as such [13]. In literature, waste management
models primarily consider environmental and economic concerns,
while social ones are often neglected. Morrissey and Browne
present a detailed analysis on waste management models and
their application to sustainable waste management [12]. In cases
such as the one herein examined, social criteria often constitute
issues of major concern for the investment’s future viability, and
consequently those need to be simultaneously taken into consid-
eration for the identification of the optimal location of a waste
management facility. For example, the widely discussed Not In
My Back Yard syndrome and local community acceptance is
unambiguously revealed as one of the most urgent local pressures
for the effectiveness of any integrated waste management scheme
[e.g. [43]].
In the case under study, a critical number of relevant stake-
holders e all experts on the thematic area under study, the special
characteristics of the problem, as well as the study area’s specific
geographical aspects e were personally interviewed in order to
decide which criteria to use in the case under study. In this light,
after the designation of alternative sites, the criteria to be taken into
account were decided upon. Those are depicted in Table 1.
The individual performances of the seven alternative site loca-
tions are calculated for the selected criteria and depicted in Table 2.
The performances of the criteria C
1
, C
2
, C
10
, C
14
, C
16
, C
17
, are quali-
tative and based on the opinion of experts and stakeholders as
already discussed above [44]. Distances for criteria C
4
, C
6
, C
7
, C
11
,
C
12
, C
13
are obtained by using a basic web mapping service appli-
cation provided by Google [45]. Performances of criteria C
3
, C
5
, C
15
,
C
18
, C
19
source from the National Statistical Service of Greece
(NSSG) as averages for the years 2005e2007 [46]. Finally, land
values for the quantification of criterion C
8
is based on data
sourcing from the Hellenic Ministry of Economy and Finance [47].
The last column of Table 2 presents the preference direction for
each criterion. In case that the preference direction is positive, the
higher the performance of the criterion is quantified, the alterna-
tive is considered as a better one, and vice versa. Those criteria that
need to be maximised in order to optimise the location of the site
where the UAM should be developed are given with (þ), while the
ones that need to be minimised are given with (À).
For the case under consideration, weighting factors, indiffer-
ence, preference and veto thresholds are presented in Table 3. The
weighting factors values are calculated as averages of the corre-
sponding views of various stakeholders involved in construction
industry (contractors, engineers, regulators, 3rd party logistics),
analytically presented elsewhere [44]. In order to overcome
subjectivity issues, the sensitivity analysis that follows, as well as
the ease and low computational time required to re-calculate
optimal solution with modified parameters, provides the decision
maker with an easy-to-use tool. In order to calculate the prefer-
ence threshold p
i
in the present framework, Equation (1) is used.
In this context, preference p
i
equals to the difference between the
maximum and the minimum for each criterion divided by the
number (n) of different alternatives [30,48]. By connecting the
preference threshold with the total number of alternatives, we
propose that the discriminative power of the method is emphas-
ised; the more alternatives there are, the more one needs a finer
threshold to discriminate among them. The indifference threshold
q
i
is calculated using Equation (2) [49]. The veto threshold taken
into consideration for the study’s needs referred to minimum
distance of existing infrastructure in UAM to overcome
a minimum of 50 km, both in order to avoid intense market
competition and meet the needs of construction contractors of
wider areas.
p
i
¼
1
n
ðV
i
max ÀV
i
minÞ (1)
q
i
¼ 0:3$p
i
(2)
4. Results and discussion
The application of the ELECTRE III multicriteria analysis is
carried out with the use of LAMSADE software [50]. After the
definition of all alternative location sites, the determination of the
criteria values, weighting factors and thresholds, the mathematical
model for the evaluation of the optimal location of CDW manage-
ment facility is resolved. Two complete pre-orders are constructed
through a descending and an ascending distillation procedure.
Fig. 3 presents both ascending and descending distillations for the
optimal location of the UAM in the RCM. The results are
Fig. 2. Alternative site locations for the development of a UAM in the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece.
G. Banias et al. / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 2317e2326 2321
Table 1
Selected criteria for the development of a UAM in the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece.
Criteria Unit of measurement Description
C
1
Local ecosystem
disturbance
1e10 scale
(qualitative)
Indicator for the ecological effects of the proposed location site. Establishing and operating a UAM
has significant ecological effects on the local flora and fauna. Within criterion C
1
the following
environmental issues from the UAM’s operational phase are taken into consideration; (i) emission
and dust production, (ii) solid waste production and (iii) liquid waste production.
C
2
Topography 1e10 scale
(qualitative)
Indicator for both the specific terrain characteristics of the proposed site and the environmental impact
from potential interventions. For example, in the case that the UAM located in an inactive quarry, the
environmental impact is significantly mitigated compared to any other possible location.
C
3
CDW quantities Demolition
permits
Indicator for the UAM’s estimated incoming raw material. Criterion C
3
is the most critical component for
the economic viability of the proposed investment. The quantification of the criterion expressed by the
total number of demolition permits, given that the bulk of construction waste sources from demolition
processes.
C
4
Distance from CDW
sources
Km Indicator for the distance between demolition sites and the alternative site for the development of the
UAM. Criterion C
4
takes into account the minimisation of transportation cost, which constitutes a
significant percentage of any reverse logistics network [41].
C
5
Demand for secondary
building materials
Building
permits
Indicator for the economic activity created by the use of end-of-life building materials in the secondary
market. The use of building wastes as a secondary raw material avoids the importation of natural
resources from the contractors. A UAM can represent a potential supplier to construction contractors,
e.g. supplying gravel and soil for road construction projects. The output of a UAM (processed secondary
building materials) also presents a critical parameter for the viability of the proposed facility.
C
6
Distance from existing
UAM
Km Indicator for competitiveness and viability of the proposed investment. Market competition is one of the
first aspects an investor questions before proceeding to the required capital investment and the same
happens for the case of the development of a UAM. Existence of a nearby competitor would decrease
quantities entering the developed facility or would narrow the prices charged for the provided services.
In any case, the distance from other existing UAMs plays an important role for the investment’s viability.
C
7
Distance from sanitary
landfill
Km Indicator for the absorption rate of the UAM’s products as a daily cover in landfills. It is very common
that landfills are in great need of inert material for municipal waste covering. The need for a coating
material may be covered by UAMs’ end products, making landfills potential stable
clients for any developed UAM. The existence of a nearby sanitary landfill would increase the proposed
UAM’s viability, since such investments are in great benefit from having stable recipients e construction
contractors are still a bit precarious with second hand building materials e for the facility’s outputs.
C
8
Land Value V/acre Indicator for the development cost. Criterion C
8
is taken explicitly into consideration as regards the
UAM’s development cost since all other cost elements (e.g. energy prices, personnel salaries, equipment
prices, etc.) do not differentiate significantly in a national level.
C
9
Subsidies Percentage of
capital
investment
Indicator for the decrease of the investment cost. Criterion C
9
refers to the possibility of subsidising the
initial capital investment to integrate the UAM development into a public investment program. Such an
option is relatively common in the EU for the development of facilities like the one discussed here, since
the latter present great benefits to the local environment and therefore it is for the public’s profit to
render such an investment as viable as possible.
C
10
Type of road network 1e10 scale
(qualitative)
Indicator for the facility’s accessibility. The road network is probably the most crucial infrastructure for
the smooth operation of a UAM, since CDW most often reach the facility, as well as end products
are sent to secondary markets, with the use of lorries. The existing road network is categorised in
three classes, namely; (i) primary national network, (ii) secondary national network and (iii) motorway.
C
11
Distance from railway
station
Km Second indicator for the facility’s accessibility. The UAM’s end products and raw materials can be easily,
as well as economically more efficiently, transferred to the secondary markets with the use of trains in
order to accomplish economies of scales. The same applies to CDW reaching the proposed UAM also.
C
12
Necessity for new roads
or improvement of existing ones
Km Indicator for additional costs of required infrastructure development or reconstruction of the existing
road network.
C
13
Distance from decision
making centres
Km Indicator for the accessibility of the UAM’s directors to the administrative decision centres. Criterion C
13
is quantified with the UAM’s distance from the capital of the corresponding Prefecture, since it is there
where all administrative services are gathered (e.g. district administration, municipality administration,
tax offices, urban services, social security, etc.). Moreover, the distance from the capital of the Prefecture
is also an indicator of available infrastructure. Proximity to decision making centres is considered a
powerful incentive to invest capital, both for reasons of political will, bureaucracy, while also due to
adequate existing infrastructure (roads, railways, telecommunications, etc.).
C
14
Existence of operational
infrastructure
1e10 scale
(qualitative)
Indicator for additional development costs of the operational infrastructure required (adequate power
supply, sewage network, telecommunications, etc.).
C
15
Land value degradation Population
affected
Indicator for the economic damage due to land depreciation. UAMs are facilities of high disturbance to
the local environment, both as regards aesthetics, as well as air pollution. In that sense, the development
of a UAM results in the indirect economic degradation of the local area.
The larger the local population in the area of the UAM’s development, the lowest the social acceptance
is expected.
C
16
Traffic burden 1e10 scale
(qualitative)
Indicator for the local traffic conditions and expected consequences from the development of a UAM in
the area.
C
17
Landscape blight 1e10 scale
(qualitative)
Indicator for the aesthetics degradation of the local environment.
C
18
Noise pollution Population
affected
Indicator for noise nuisance arising from the processes taking place during the operational phase of the
proposed UAM.
C
19
Unemployed population Unemployment
rate
Indicator for both available workforce and social acceptance for the development of a UAM.
G. Banias et al. / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 2317e2326 2322
represented on a graph where the abscissa is the position of the
alternative location site. Both distillations show the area located in
Litochoro as the optimal site for the development of the UAM,
which is also reflected in the final distribution of the alternative
sites presented in Fig. 4.
The optimal location site (Litochoro) can be interpreted as
a result of the specific site’s excellent performances in the envi-
ronmental (C
1
, C
2
), economic (C
3
, C
4
, C
5
, C
6
, C
7
, C
8
, C
9
) and technical
(C
10
, C
11
, C
12
, C
13
, C
14
) evaluation criteria. The exceptional perfor-
mance of Litochoro to previously mentioned criteria can be justified
by the fact that the proposed site is located in an inactive quarry
and therefore criteria related to the environmental impact
(nuisance, topography, land value degradation, landscape blight)
are significantly mitigated compared to any other possible loca-
tions. In this context, the impacts e both aesthetical and environ-
mental e from the development of a UAM in the specific area,
although unavoidable, are considerably diminished. In addition, the
proposed site is relatively close to administrative decision centres
(2 km from city of Litochoro and 17 km from the Prefecture’s
capital, Katerini), is located next to the main national road artery
that connects the two largest cities in the country (Athens and
Thessaloniki), while it is also very close to a train station, which is
only 3.5 km from the proposed UAM. This is further reinforced by
the fact that the proposed UAM in Litochoro can further serve the
CDW management needs of the neighbouring Regions of Western
Macedonia and Thessaly.
As shown in Fig. 3, next best alternatives for the development
of the UAM are the areas located in Veria and Polikastro. The
environmental impacts from the development of a UAM in those
areas are significantly increased, compared to the optimal location
in Litochoro. Veria is quite close to the one in Litochoro and
therefore could potentially serve the same geographical areas. The
ranking of this particular proposed site location is a result of the
Table 2
Performances of the alternative site locations for the selected criteria.
Criteria Unit of measurement Performances (V
i
) Preference direction
Litochoro Gazoros Polikastro Vasilika Veria Rizari Paleokastro
A
1
A
2
A
3
A
4
A
5
A
6
A
7
C
1
1e10 scale 1 10 5 8 10 10 10 À
C
2
1e10 scale 10 8 10 3 8 3 3 þ
C
3
Demolition permits 25 48 13 650 38 12 48 þ
C
4
Km 17 22.5 27 28 4 7 9 À
C
5
Building permits 725 620 421 3718 554 642 1149 þ
C
6
Km 84 108 47 38 65 58 69 þ
C
7
Km 1 24 30 45 6 11 1.5 À
C
8
V/acre 44,000 3200 10,000 26,000 14,000 3600 8400 À
C
9
% 45 45 40 33 44 40 40 þ
C
10
1e10 scale 10 5 8 3 10 5 3 þ
C
11
Km 3.5 2 4 28 1 5.5 55 À
C
12
Km 0 0.05 0.8 0.07 0.35 0.05 0.2 À
C
13
Km 2 22.5 3 28 4 7 9 À
C
14
1e10 scale 10 1 3 10 8 5 5 þ
C
15
Population 6700 11,000 12,700 9300 47,400 1800 350 À
C
16
1e10 scale 3 5 3 10 3 5 10 À
C
17
1e10 scale 1 5 3 10 3 5 5 À
C
18
Population 6700 11,000 12,700 9300 47,400 1800 350 À
C
19
% 9.2 5 15.1 8.8 12.9 8.9 6 þ
Table 3
Weighting factors and thresholds for the development of a UAM in the Region of
Central Macedonia, Greece.
Criteria Weighting factor (%) Preference (p) Indifference (q) Veto (v)
C
1
12.4 1.3 0.4 À
C
2
8.1 1.0 0.3 À
C
3
7.4 91.0 27.3 À
C
4
5.7 3.4 1.0 50
C
5
9.2 471.0 141.3 À
C
6
5.9 10.0 3.0 À
C
7
4.3 6.3 1.9 À
C
8
7.6 5828.6 1748.6 À
C
9
11.3 1.7 0.5 À
C
10
2.9 1.0 0.3 À
C
11
1.0 7.7 2.3 À
C
12
1.8 0.1 0.03 À
C
13
1.2 3.7 1.1 À
C
14
2.2 1.3 0.4 À
C
15
4.3 6721.4 2016.4 À
C
16
2.1 1.0 0.3 À
C
17
3.8 1.3 0.4 À
C
18
3.5 6721.4 2016.4 À
C
19
5.5 1.4 0.4 À
Fig. 3. Ascending and descending distillations of the optimal location for the devel-
opment of the UAM.
G. Banias et al. / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 2317e2326 2323
moderate performances in the environmental criteria compared to
those of Litochoro. The proposed UAM in Veria is located in a field
that would significantly increase the local ecosystem disturbance.
As regards the site in Polikastro, its main advantage refers to the
specific terrain characteristics and the corresponding limited
environmental impact e compared to all other alternative loca-
tions e from the development of a UAM. On the other hand,
estimated incoming raw material for the specific alternative
location is relatively limited, which presents a major drawback for
the specific site location’s UAM’s viability, at least compared with
the ones in Litochoro and Veria. On the other hand, the lowest
ranking of the proposed site location in Vasilika can be interpreted
as a result of the increased generated impacts and thus moderate
performance in environmental criteria. Performances of the
specific location in relation to economical criteria are also
considerably poor, practically excluding this alternative from the
location where the investment would be implemented. More
specifically, the limited percentage of subsidy from the public,
together with the high land prices in the area, increase the initial
capital investment required for the UAM’s development. In addi-
tion, the existence of three UAMs already operational in the
Greater Thessaloniki Area is expected to significantly decrease
quantities entering the proposed facility or narrow the prices
charged for the provided services.
Sensitivity analysis is an advantage of the presented methodo-
logical approach on the grounds that real life applications input
data originate fromestimations which, although assumed constant,
are sometimes more or sometimes less reliable. General sources
of individual uncertainties could come from data series uncer-
tainties, uncertainty about the future, synergies and idiosyncrasies
in the interpretation of ambiguous or incomplete information [51].
In any case it should be underlined that the simultaneous
Fig. 4. Final ranking of the alternative location sites.
Table 4
Thresholds’ variations.
Scenario
Basic A B C D E F
p

i
p
i
1:25$p
i
1:5$p
i
0:75$p
i
0:5$p
i
p
i
0:5,p
i
q

i
0:3$p
i
0:375$p
i
0:45$p
i
0:225$p
i
0:15$p
i
0 0:3,p
i
Variation (%) e 25% 50% À25% À50% p

i
¼ p
i
q

i
¼ 0
p

i
¼
pi
2
q

i
¼ q
i
Table 5
Thresholds’ sensitivity analysis.
Scenarios Ranking
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
Basic scenario Litochoro Veria and Polikastro Gazoros, Rizari and Paleokastro Vasilika
A Litochoro Veria and Polikastro Gazoros, and Paleokastro Vasilika
B Litochoro Veria Polikastro Gazoros Rizari, Paleokastro and Vasilika
C Litochoro Veria, Polikastro and Paleokastro Rizari and Gazoros Vasilika
D Litochoro Veria, Polikastro and Paleokastro Rizari and Gazoros Vasilika
E Litochoro Veria, Polikastro and Paleokastro Rizari and Gazoros Vasilika
F Litochoro Veria and Polikastro Paleokastro Rizari and Gazoros Vasilika
G. Banias et al. / Building and Environment 45 (2010) 2317e2326 2324
consequences of potential variations of parameter values, decision
variables and constraints could be studied by new model runs,
since the low computational time gives the opportunity for fast
reformed optimal solutions.
For sensitivity analysis purposes, the problem under study is
resettled with modified parameters (weighting factors and
thresholds). The ranking of alternatives can depend on the values of
the different thresholds. Sensitivity analysis is necessary to justify
the final recommendation. In the present study, six variations
(scenarios AeF) of thresholds were considered, as depicted in
Table 4. Table 5 presents the ranking of the seven optimal locations
for developing a UAM in the RCM. For all scenarios, Litochoro
appeals the optimal solution which provides the decision maker
with additional confidence that the UAM is better to be developed
in this specific location.
5. Conclusions
Assessing multiple criteria in the field of the building envi-
ronment has gained a lot of scientific attention over the last years.
This paper presents a methodological framework to support
decision makers in their effort to assess multiple criteria for the
optimal location of a construction and demolition waste
management facility. The approach is successfully implemented in
the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece. The decision maker is
able to take into account either quantitative (e.g. distances, price
of sites etc.) or qualitative criteria (e.g. aesthetics, landscape
degradation etc.). ELECTRE III technique forms the mathematical
basis and a robust parameter analysis is realised for the area under
consideration, in order to evaluate and compare all available
alternatives. The location site of Litochoro is the solution that
optimally interlaces local acceptance, financial viability and the
environmental burden which represents a vital issue for
consensus and eventually managerial efficiency. Next best alter-
natives for the development of the UAM are the areas located in
Veria and Polikastro. Sensitivity analysis justifies the final
recommendation.
The methodology presented provides decision makers with
a tractable tool that could be employed either by private investors
or public authorities. The procedure could be easily adopted e with
slight modifications and adjustments to the special requirements of
the problem under consideration e in order to solve similar prob-
lems in areas other than the one examined in the present analysis.
Necessary adjustments mainly have to do with the system regula-
tor’s specific objectives and strategic goals, as well as the
geographical characteristics of the area under study. The method-
ological framework is also not limited only to support the specific
decision; it can be also used in the effort to locate optimal sites for
the development of other types of required infrastructure, such as
collection points, sorting centres, etc. In all those cases, different
criteria may be decided to be utilised, but the overall methodology
may remain practically unaltered.
Decision makers should seek the most rational solution of an
optimisation problem according to their decision criteria. To that
end, multicriteria analysis can play a crucial role, since the formu-
lation potentialities are wide. Recently, the aforementioned need is
strengthened considering the fact that during the past years the
development of an efficient and socially acceptable CDW manage-
ment scheme has become a matter of major importance given the
potential environmental impacts of its absence. It should be
emphasised that efforts need to be commenced fromthe beginning
of a technical structure’s life cycle, its conceptual stage. It is then
when numerous potential design alternatives are generated and
roughly evaluated in order to obtain the most promising solution,
both for the structure’s construction and operational phase, as well
as for its alternative management at the end of its useful life
(Design for Deconstruction). However, regardless of any design
improvements, CDW will be always produced and thus would
present an issue of critical importance for the sustainability of the
building sector.
Nomenclature
CDW Construction and Demolition Waste
MMF Multicriteria Methodology Framework
MSW Municipal Solid Waste
NSSG National Statistical Service of Greece
RCM Region of Central Macedonia
UAM Unit of Alternative Management
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