Students at the School of Engineering, RMIT University recently published a study experimenting with a new form of waste management and recycling. As they note in their research, cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded single waste item in the world, with an estimated 5.7 trillion having been consumed around the globe in 2016. However, the materials in cigarette butts—particularly their cellulose acetate filters—can be extremely harmful to the environment due to poor biodegradability. The RMIT study builds on a previous research study by Mohajerani et. al (2016) that experimented with adding discarded cigarette butts to clay bricks for architectural use. In their research, the RMIT students found that such a measure would reduce the energy consumption of the brick production process and lower the thermal conductivity of the bricks, but that other issues including bacterial contamination would have to be addressed prior to successful implementation. Below, we explore this research in more detail, investigating its relevance to the architecture industry and imagining possible futures of application.
Is It Possible To Create Lightweight Bricks By Recycling Cigarette Butts?
3D Printing With Thermoplastics Creates a Folding System That Controls Light Temperature
The roof of Euston Station in London is the large-scale architectural setting for the virtual application of the comprehensive Metaplas system, created by students from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. As part of an investigation carried out in Research Cluster 8 (RC8) of the Master's program in Architectural Design, students developed a 3D printed multimaterial system from biodegradable and recyclable thermoplastics. Transforming a series of flat panels into complex three-dimensional forms, students created a structural system with geometric folds that allows for passive control of the lighting of interior spaces.
Adobe: The Most Sustainable Recyclable Building Material
When building for a more sustainable world, the materials you choose undoubtedly play the biggest part in minimizing your project's carbon footprint. Building a wall out of plastic bottles, for example, prevents them from adding to the hoard in a landfill. However, there is a material used for centuries throughout the world that tops all the rest when it comes to sustainability: adobe.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: the Three R's Rule Applied to Architecture
As levels of pollutant emissions have increased over the years, awareness has also grown regarding actions that can be taken to minimize the damage caused to the planet. As a way to promote waste reduction or prevention, the 3 R's rule is created: reduce, reuse and recycle. These actions, together with sustainable consumption standards, have been promoted as a means to protect natural resources and minimize waste.
Tiny House Made from Recycled Materials Begins Construction in Bali
Bali-based Stilt Studios has begun construction on a new prefabricated tiny house made out of recycled Tetra Pak cartons. The team has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to create awareness for the use of recycled materials. Designed to promote local, circular economies, the first prototype is now being built and sales of the tiny house will commence in October this year.
How to Make a Facade with Recycled Materials: 21 Notable Examples
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.
The Contemporary Remodelling of Traditional Materials in Chinese Vernacular Architecture
Constrained by a lack of transportation and resources, vernacular architecture has started adapting the distinct strategy of utilizing local materials. By analyzing projects which have successfully incorporated these features into their design, this article gives an overview of how traditional materials, such as tiles, metal, rocks, bamboo, wooden sticks, timber, rammed earth and bricks are being transformed through vernacular architecture in China.
Recycling Warehouses: 25 Adaptive Reuse Projects
Warehouses, whether industrial or rural, are a type of building that can easily be found all around the world. Some of these shelters are century-old and have probably been built to store products or to accommodate factories. However, due to urban phenomena and new technologies, many of them stopped operating as they were originally used to and started to spark interest in several businesses whose aim was to re-adapt these structures to meet new purposes.
Recycling Brick Constructions in the UK: 14 Building Restorations and Extensions
The use of brick plays a very important role in the architectural history of the United Kingdom. Construction techniques that involve brick and stone have been in constant progress. In fact, brick production improved over time, making the material the most popular one in the construction industry. From the 18th century onwards, brickwork was predominantly used in domestic and industrial architecture, but later on, it was introduced to the structure of warehouses and factories, as well as other various forms of infrastructure.
Towards a Common Practice of Material Recycling
Making material recycling commonplace within the architectural field would require a top-down approach in adapting the industry’s processes and standards to create a suitable framework for the task. However, individual endeavours are bringing about change within the profession, pushing for a reconsideration of architecture’s relationship to waste. This article looks at some of the initiatives that are spearheading the transition towards a common practice of material recycling.
Recycling Tiles: 15 Examples of Repurposed Tiles in Walls, Facades, Flooring, and Furniture
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.