When designing for reuse or recycling what type of reuse or recycling are you designing for

It will only be possible to design for a certain outcome if you either know, or can imagine how a building component or element will (or might) be reused/recycled - who will want to use it, how and where? Taken literally this is, of course, impossible. Nevertheless, educated guesses can be made and will be better than no guesses at all.

So great are the differences between the processes of reconditioning for reuse and the separation and processing of materials for recycling that the first and most important decision - whether for an entire building or any component within - is:

Are you designing it for reuse or for recycling?

And if you are designing for reuse, what type of reuse?

  • removing a whole building to a new site
  • removal of part of a building (eg during refurbishment or adaptation)
  • removing a particular element to a new location (eg boiler)
  • removal of a component or element for reconditioning (eg a stone panel from a façade)
  • careful removal by dealers in second hand goods (eg architectural fittings)
  • salvaging and storing elements for subsequent reconditioning.

If you are designing for recycling, what type of recycling?

^ ■ "downcycling" - eg reusing high-performance steel cladding for a purpose that requires lower performance, such as ^ industrial / agricultural use

0 ■ on-site reprocessing and reuse, eg crushing brickwork for use as fill or in landscaping .H

^ ■ separation of materials for off-site reprocessing and recycling, eg chipboard manufacture jj ■ separation followed by incineration to produce energy.

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The processes involved in reusing a component when it has come to the end of its first life are fundamentally different from the

¡3 processes involved in recycling the materials of which something is made. Therefore, for each component of the building being designed, a decision (perhaps an educated guess), will need to be taken as to whether it will be destined for likely reuse or for q recycling.

^ Section 2.3.4 addresses the need to ensure that those engaged in deconstruction for reuse or recycling are aware of the

O assumptions and intentions made by the design team at the design stage.

^ Some decisions taken at the design stage of a project will be better suited to achieving more-effective reuse, while others may be ^ more appropriate to achieving more-effective material recycling. This is illustrated in Table 2.3.

Table 2.3

Suitability of different design strategies for different end-of-llfe events (developed from ideas presented in Crowther, 2001)

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