In the 20th Century, New York City became an epicenter of newly constructed buildings that quickly gained an iconic status. While they greatly influenced new ways that we think about aesthetics and space, many of them met their demise less than 60 years after their commissioning. It seems that in the modern age of mass development, and where a wrecking ball symbolizes progress forward, no building is safe. The tenacity to tear down even these structures deemed to be culturally significant speaks to how architects are quick to dismiss ideas about how long we plan for buildings to live and how we decide when its time for them to come down.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether we like it or not, every architect is a recycler.
“Out with the old and in with the new,”....or so they say. In the United States, a cloud of dust and debris paired with a wrecking ball and bulldozer tends to represent signs of forward progress, innovation, economic activity, and the hope for a better future through architectural design.
Commonly used as storage support for products in supermarket stocks and fairs, pallets are versatile. After their primary function has been discarded, the reuse of pallets for other purposes is increasingly common, collaborating to the reduction of the amount of waste discarded, especially as raw material for the creation of furniture and decks. However, going beyond the commonly highlighted DIY furniture tutorials on youtube, these structures are gaining ground as the main element in the construction of ephemeral architecture, such as small pavilions and urban installations. In fact, these small pieces can be stacked and united together in different ways and patterns.
When reflecting on recycling, sustainability, measures to take, and innovative technological solutions, one cannot help but think that there are also familiar approaches that should be taken into consideration. In fact, when examining the impact of the built environment on the climate, one notes that in many countries, 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built. The most effective form of sustainability may, therefore, be saving energy by eliminating or minimizing new constructions, and by avoiding the demolition of existing structures.
Recycled and reused materials continue to grow as a more attractive alternative in the construction field. They are at most times a coveted sustainable substitute to conventional building materials, offering a financially resourceful solution when appropriately sourced and implemented. Aside from saving up on raw material costs, establishing recycling facilities or factories might present a good opportunity to generate jobs within a local setting (collecting, handling). The recycling process might also be used as a gateway to lower energy consumption, with some plants eventually generating their own power through specific material transformation techniques (Heat generated power).
Some researchers define the Anthropocene as beginning at the Industrial Revolution. Others identify it with the explosion of the first nuclear bomb, and others with the advent of agriculture. Regarding the precise timeline, there is not yet a scientific consensus. But the notion that human activities have been generating changes with planetary repercussions, whether in the temperature of the Earth, in biomes, or in ecosystems, is one that has become increasingly popular. The anthropocene would be a new geological era marked by the impact of human action on planet Earth. This acknowledgement of human impact is particularly disturbing if we consider that if the entire history of the Earth were condensed in 24 hours, humans would only appear in the last 20 seconds. Whether in the massive extraction of natural resources or in the carbon release from vehicles and industries, it is well known that a large part of the fault lies with construction activities, especially in the production of solid waste due to waste and demolition. In Brazil, for example, civil construction waste can represent between 50% and 70% of the mass of solid urban waste . Many will end up being discarded irregularly or thrown in landfills to be buried indefinitely.