While concrete is without a doubt the world's go-to building material thanks to its durability, malleability, and ability to withstand a wide range of climates, it is also the principal source of CO2 emissions within the realm of construction. To combat this and reduce their creations' carbon footprint, many architects have begun experimenting and innovating in a bid to optimize concrete's technical qualities while diminishing its impact on the environment. Among these efforts, there are several projects that have explored the possibility of replacing traditional frameworks with more sustainable materials like bamboo, a resource that grows in abundance throughout many regions of the world and, along with having minimal environmental impact, renders high quality textured detailing on a variety of architectural surfaces.
Diversifying the materials of an interior space can greatly improve its depth and visual interest. At the same time, adding partitions or other delineations of internal space can help organize flow, circulation, and visibility. Polycarbonate, a type of lightweight, durable thermoplastic, is an excellent medium for both functions.
In its raw form, polycarbonate is completely transparent, transmitting light with nearly the same efficacy as glass. However, it is also lighter and stronger than glass and tougher than other similar plastics such as acrylic, polystyrene, ABS, or nylon, making it a good choice for designers seeking durable, impact and fire resistant materials that still transmit light. Like glass, it is a natural UV filter and can be colored or tinted for translucency, yet it is also prized for its flexibility, allowing it to be shaped into any size or shape. Finally, it is easily recyclable because it liquefies rather than burning, making it at least more environmentally friendly than other thermoset plastics. For example, recycled polycarbonate can be chemically reacted with phenol in a recycling plant to produce monomers that can be turned back into plastic.
With the aim of supporting architects to become active agents of sustainable design, this week we present a selection of facades that incorporate different recycled materials. Beyond the typical uses of plastic and glass, in this article, you will find innovative materials such as mattress springs, ice cream containers, plastic chairs, and recycled waste from agricultural and industrial products. A look at 21 remarkable projects using recycled materials to create an attractive facade.
Whether you're looking for an upgrade or to replace broken pieces for floors or walls, tiles are always an effective and readily available option for any project that you have in mind. With their relatively low production cost, tiles are rarely reused or recycled and, if they are, it's usually for their original function.