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Green Business

Hospital demolition with 100% recycling of materials

Case study of the Ministry of Health, Slovak Republic


The construction of the Rázsochy Faculty Hospital in Bratislava’s Lamač district began in 1987. During the thirty-year construction, it repeatedly faced the problem of financing, and only a rough structure with perimeter walls was completed. The Ministry of Health of Slovakian Republic (MoH SR) decided to demolish the hospital as the existing premises did not meet modern healthcare standards (such as increased patient numbers, ageing population and the flexibility to deal with demographic and health and disease developments). An assessment of modernization options showed that a refurbishment would not secure sustainable quality and meet the other needs of a modern healthcare facility.

In the first phase of this work, the MoH SR launched a tender for demolition works. The Ministry set the requirements for quality standards. One of the evaluation criteria was the amount of recycling and use of building materials.

Procurement objectives

MoH SR published a Prior Information Notice related to the execution of Prior Market Consultations (PMC) for the preparation, designing and construction of the new University Hospital in Bratislava.

The Ministry held two rounds of PMC with more than 300 economic operators. All steps and documents related to PMC (including minutes) were published and are available on the webpage of MoH SR. As a follow-up to the initial presentation meeting held as part of the PMC, the MoH SR invited potential bidders to inspect the Rázsochy Construction Site.

Image of a construction machine in the public air
Photo by the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic


Criteria used

The Ministry drew upon the Slovakian Republic Act on public procurement, which considers cost and quality criteria when determining the most economically advantageous tender. The quality criteria include environmental aspects linked to the subject matter of the public contract.

Selection criteria

The Ministry asked the bidders to prove technical and professional competence by setting quality standards in the selection criteria. The bidders were required to demonstrate the capacity to carry out the environmental measures by:

• Providing evidence of a management system that takes into account environmental protection in the field of demolition and earthworks and construction debris recycling

• Bidders could also prove capacity by submitting the list of previous work using environmental measures, showing prior execution of at least one demolition work with a volume of 300,000 m3

• Presenting an ISO EN 9001:2009 (or equivalent) quality management, safety and security standard in the field of demolition and earthworks and construction debris recycling

• Submitting a list of machinery and technical equipment for demolition work, crushing construction debris, and a transport plan to reduce the burden on the surroundings.

The call for tender provided the option to use different machinery for demolition works and crushing construction debris. The bidders were required in the offer to indicate which machinery they were planning to use. This enabled MoH SR to assess whether the tenderer’s proposed schedule was realistic compared to its performance capacities. The applicant stated the make and model (exact trade name), machine type, planned number of individual devices and performance parameters.

The requirement of a safety and health protection management system at work was also specified. Bidders were required to submit valid OHSAS 18001 Certification in demolition and earthworks and construction debris recycling.

Technical specifications

In the competition conditions, MoH SR described the method of realization of the work, which was also prescribed in the contractual requirements. Bidders had to submit a preliminary technical proposal to show how they would fulfil the following conditions:

• Recycle and recover waste from the demolition of the building (e.g. concrete, brick, glass) in the manner specified in the offer. The contractor disposed of waste that could not be further recycled and recovered at the place of its origin by sorting and handing it to authorized waste disposers. In identifying hazardous waste, the contractor ensured its location, sorting and disposal by a company holding a permit for handling the relevant type of hazardous waste. The contractor also made sure (including through third parties) such waste was stored in a warehouse for hazardous waste.

• Measure the weight of incoming and outgoing trucks and thus record the amount and type of waste. Furthermore, when handing over to persons authorized to dispose of waste according to the Waste Act, they required confirmation of the type and amount of waste and recycled material. The contractor had to submit these confirmations to the Ministry as part of regular progress reports.

• Ensure the measurement of waste removal and prove it with weight tickets, where information was recorded: type of waste, waste category, weight, time and date of export, and signature.

• Ensure the measurement of recycled material removal and prove it with weighted tickets, where information was recorded: type of recycled material, volume, time and date of export and signature.

Image of a building under construction
Photo by Brandon Hoogenboom


Award criteria

As part of the evaluation, the contracting authority established two criteria:

Criterion 1:The lowest price for the subject of the order – 85 points

Criterion 2: The percentage of recycling and reuse of building materials – 15 points.

Contract performance clauses

The Ministry required a quality system to be used in the performance of the order, namely the ISO EN 9001:2009 standard in demolition and earthworks and construction debris recycling (or equivalent). With this requirement, they could monitor the introduction of a management process and thus the supplier’s ability to meet the deadline for implementing the works.

In the contractual conditions, the Ministry stipulated continuous control in the form of reports that the contractor regularly sent (once every two weeks before demolition work and every week after the start). The reports contained information about the progress, photo documentation, and records of the amount of demolished building materials and products from the work site, which were recycled, reused, or handed over to authorized disposers.

Reducing the vehicle congestion load in the surroundings was a concern. The Ministry asked for a transport plan from all suppliers to show that the work would not unduly burden the inner-city surroundings. The bidders had to prove that all transport to and from the construction site, related to the contract performance, would not be carried out between 6:30 am and 9:00 am and between 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. The request is under Resolution No. 590/2016 of the Government of the Slovak Republic, National Action Plan for Green Public Procurement in the Slovak Republic for the years 2016 to 2020 (NAPGPPIII) and also concerned subcontractors.

The contractual conditions further defined the method of waste management and the contractor’s obligations. For the sale of recycled materials and metal waste, the contractor had to carry out the sale under the conditions usual on the market and at market prices. Profits made by the contractor from the sale had to be sent to a bank account, so documents related to the sale were part of progress reports.

The contractor was obliged to measure the amount of recycled material and other recycled rubble and submit to the client a confirmation of the installation at the place of use. For example, recycled concrete was used to construct a new highway and expressway).


The contracting authority received three bids, and the winning bidder offered 100% recovery of construction and demolition waste. During the work, recycled waste used in constructing the D4 highway and the R7 expressway was continuously documented with photographs. In total, 150,000 tonnes of concrete recycled materials and 6,000 tonnes of metal scrap were reused.

The winning bidder demonstrated compliance with the requirement for an environmental management system. They presented a valid STN EN ISO 14001 environmental management system certificate in demolition, earthworks, and construction debris recycling.

Before the demolition, the contractor carried out an identification and risk assessment of the hazardous waste (e.g. WEEE). Demolition work was carried out by gradual demolition. The resulting waste was separated, and 100% of usable waste, e.g. concrete, bricks, glass, and iron, was recycled. Waste that could not be recycled was disposed of in a controlled landfill by authorized parties. On the construction site, the contractor reserved space for the storage of sorted waste and demolished construction material, as well as for mobile crushers.

In addition, MoH SR also collaborated with suppliers for a service to record the contract progress and performance around demolition and waste evaluation via images and documentation. For example, the contract was monitored 24 hours a day via time-gathering images to verify some of the transportation and waste practices. In addition, four cameras and photosystems located on masts, including drone documentation, were also used. The entrance to the site was equipped with scales and a camera, which tracked each vehicle’s movement and material disposal.

Environmental impacts

Reused materials were used in place of new ones. Hence, the environmental burden arising from producing new materials (raw resources extraction, emissions of greenhouse gases, etc.) was also avoided. There are ongoing discussions about how the environmental benefit should be calculated in multicycle scenarios. However, it is common to credit these benefits to the re-users (rather than to the reclaimers).

Road construction has significant environmental impacts. For example, the combustion of fossil fuels during manufacturing causes the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and nitrogen dioxides (NO2 ). This contributes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and global warming, atmospheric pollution (ground-level ozone creation and acidification), and nutrient enrichment. Also, the traditionally very high temperatures associated with heating bitumen consumes a large amount of energy. Use of recycled material when resurfacing roads implied significant environmental benefits. Using recycled asphalt and warm mix technology significantly reduces such emissions, as mineral aggregates do not have to be quarried and transported over long distances. Also, bitumen does not need to be manufactured from mineral oil. The rejuvenating additives have their carbon footprint, but this is far smaller than quarrying and the use of fresh bitumen. Finally, the recycled mix is manufactured at lower than conventional temperatures, which reduces energy consumption for manufacturing and paving.

Lessons learned

• Bidders in the Slovak Republic are not used to contract conditions for recycling materials and controlled demolition work. The prior market consultation rounds gave them time to prepare for recycling, selling and reusing the materials.

• The use of technology, including cameras, drones and scales, made contract monitoring more feasible and accurate. In addition, it helped with compliance with the conditions of material recycling, including its secondary use within other material chains or construction activities.

• In the future, the Ministry will consider using a third evaluation criterion alongside the original two ones, asking for the percentage of waste placed in a controlled landfill. It is also possible to reduce the price ratio to 50%, as suppliers demonstrated an ability to meet the demands.

More information

Contact persons: Ing. Ondrej Kuruc, PhD., LL.M., MoH SR Ing. Jana Kišková, MoH SR Mgr. Michal Machánek, UH BA.

For related information, please see European GPP criteria for Buildings (under development) and Technical Report Background.

Tender documents are available online.