Building Disassembly and the Lessons of Industrial Ecology

Crowther, Philip (2000) Building Disassembly and the Lessons of Industrial Ecology. In Shaping the Sustainable Millennium: Collaborative Approaches - CIB, EPA, QUT, CSIRO, July 2000, Brisbane, Australia.


Industrial ecology has already established a good understanding of the environmental impacts of industrialised production and the possibilities of reducing these impacts, particularly through a reduction in resource consumption. The strategies of dematerialisation, material substitution, recycling, and waste mining have all been investigated and implemented to reduce resource use. These strategies have not however been thoroughly investigated in the construction industry despite their obvious potential.

If the once through life cycle of resource use that dominates the construction industry is replaced with a true cycle in which materials and components are reused, the environmental impact of the industry could be drastically reduced. Such a pattern of resource use can result in four main options for reuse; resource recycling, material reprocessing, component reuse and building relocation.

To help in achieving these patterns of reuse, building must first be designed for disassembly to allow components to be removed more easily. There already exist a number of well developed guidelines for design for disassembly within the field of product design. Many of these guidelines have the potential to be easily adapted for the building industry. Such guidelines could be used by designers to greatly improve the potential for reuse and recycling within the built environment thereby reducing the enormous environmental burden of resource use and waste disposal.

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ID Code: 2848
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Construction, Design, Disassembly, Ecology, Recycle
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 09 Dec 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:29

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