AbstractDecisions made at every stage of the built environment life cycle impact how materials in that environment are eventually managed at the end of their life, whether in a linear or cyclical manner. Linear fates often terminate in landfills, whereas more sustainable cyclical fates are continuously extended through reduction, reuse, repair, recycling, and recovery (5Rs) practices. Despite a notable increase in the literature on sustainable construction and demolition waste (CDW) management, there is still a lack of studies comprehensively addressing the full life cycle of the built environment. A gap also exists in the understanding of the root causes underlying unsustainable CDW management practices. To address these gaps and shortcomings, this study synthesizes the literature on CDW management to identify the causal factors contributing to the current unsustainable management practices, their root causes across the life cycle of the built environment, and sustainable strategies with proven efficacy in mitigating the detected root causes. Considering the implications of these strategies on the management of CDW, as well as their applicability across different stages of the built environment life cycle, this study characterizes them using the 5Rs waste hierarchy and using a five-stage built environment life cycle framework: interim, planning, construction, use, and end of life. All such information is integrated into a single ranking framework that proposes prioritized sustainable strategic pathways to address the most relevant root causes of unsustainable CDW management across the entire built environment life cycle. The actual implementation of the proposed framework for the sustainable management of the built environment is demonstrated through an analysis of Louisiana, in which peacetime construction/demolition and disaster debris generation and reconstruction/demolition have resulted in large amounts of CDW that often ended in landfills. Future decision makers can avoid similar fates by mitigating their own root causes of unsustainable waste management by better utilizing relevant mitigation strategies.

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