Over the past decade
the field of designing buildings for recycling has become of increasing
interest to researchers investigating approaches to designing sustainable
buildings. More recently the research has focussed on producing practical
guidance for building designers interested in designing sustainable buildings.
The guidelines and principles for designing buildings for dismantling,
reuse and recycling developed in the last five years focus on two main
1 the process of
removal of building elements and materials from building structure
2 the requirements
for reprocessing of building elements and materials to enable reintegration
in a new building.
To facilitate the removal
of elements and materials from a building, these have to be designed to
be technically capable to be removed with as little effort and as quickly
as possible. A quick and effortless dismantling process will reduce costs
of dismantling, which will then begin to compete with the cost of a standard
demolition process and become more economically attractive. Effective
dismantling is desirable whether the building elements are to be reused,
recycled or down cycled. To achieve building designs that can be efficiently
dismantled the following points should be considered.
- INFORMATION - Provide
As Built drawings and Maintenance Log including identification of points
of disassembly, component and material and identify materials and points
of disassembly on elements.
- ACCESS - Provide
easy and safe access to building element and fixings with minimal machinery
- DISMANTLING PROCESS
- Simplify fixing systems and enable removal by means of small hand
tools and handheld electrical tools avoiding specialist plant. Use mechanical
rather than chemical fixing. Provide realistic tolerances for assembly
and disassembly. Design joints and components to withstand dismantling
- HAZARDS - Make
components sized and of a weight to suit the means of handling and provide
means of handling and locating. Avoid toxic materials.
- TIME - Minimise
number of parts, fixings and types of fixings and allow for parallel
Once removed from the building, elements have to be reprocessed to enable
their reuse or recycling. The nature and amount of preparation work required
will depend on the characteristics of the elements and the designated
use. Taking into account that reusing elements provides the greatest environmental
benefits, the following recommendations aim to maximise the ability for
the materials and elements to be reused, but also aim to ensure that once
the element can no longer be reused it is capable of being recycled.
- REPROCESSING -
Use materials that require minimal reworking, avoid non-recyclable materials
such as composite materials and treatments and secondary finishes to
materials that complicate reprocessing. Minimise the number of different
types of components and ensure inseparable subassemblies are from the
same material and components of different materials are easy to separate.
Flexible installation options included.
- HAZARDS - Minimise
toxic content, if toxic content is unavoidable ensure the ability to
release it in a controlled manner. Make components sized and of a weight
to suit the means of handling and provide means of handling and locating.
- DURABILITY - Use
sturdy and avoid fragile material. Design joints and components to withstand
- INFORMATION - Provide
identification of material and component types. Provide product details
and installation instructions.