Wednesday, July 27, 2005

How to reuse a building

Courtesy of the Greenclips newsletter, here's a link to a guide from the University of Dundee on how to reduce construction waste, which in the case of the United Kingdom, amounts to 72.5 million tons a year with 42% of it going to landfills at a time when that space is at a premium. Chicago architect John Ronan estimates that "70% of what’s in landfills right now is old buildings."

The 70 page study, in Adobe Acrobat format, can be downloaded by clicking here.

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Jennifer said...

"Rubbish: The Archaeology of Garbage" by William Rathis and Cullen Murphy is the most authorative source on what's in landfills that I've read.

He says the actual amount of landfill due to construction debris is about 12%. Paper is the worst culprit at 40%+ of landfill content.

I write this not to diss Ronan, but to raise awareness that the research is out there. Rathis writes: "Misperceptions such as these (like Ronan's) are not harmless. They can lead to policies and actions that are counterproductive."

Rathis argues persuasively (I think) on why this is the case. Just thought it was relevant to mention when I saw that statistic being cited.

Lynn Becker said...

The book is published by the University of Arizona Press, and can be found here