When a material runs its course and becomes obsolete, whether because of wear and tear, a change of style, a tear-down, or a remodel, many are tempted to simply toss it into a scrap heap and send it to the landfill. In the grand majority of cases, however, these materials can be repaired, recycled, and reused in a vast array of creative endeavors. Of course, depending on the material and its characteristics, this can also present a challenge. In the case of windows and doors, particular care must be taken to keep them intact throughout the dismantling or demolition process and even afterwards, an inspection may be necessary to determine their viability for future use. Of course, many avoid the path of re-utilization altogether and opt for new materials that make for an easier and more uniform project.
Salvaged Materials: The Latest Architecture and News
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How many times in the last year have you heard 3d printing mentioned? What about double-skinned curtain walls or “smart” buildings? High-tech materials almost always seem to dominate the conversation - at least in architectural circles. But using the latest invention in material technology usually does not make a building “innovative.” More often than not, it just makes it expensive and flashy.
Low-tech materials like lumber, stone and brick, on the other hand, are often overlooked, even though the use of local and locally produced materials offers the lowest possible carbon footprint. And while these common materials may seem boring, with a bit of imagination and technical skill, an architect can transform these materials into something fresh. With that in mind, check out three truly innovative projects which use low-tech materials in different and exciting ways.
If you could construct your house out of materials made, recycled, or found within 100-miles of your lot, would you? And if you did, would you feel proud that you never once stepped into The Home Depot? Would you tout the fact that you took an environmental stand, that you did your bit to help the world?
Would you have?
As we mentioned in February, The Architecture Foundation of British Colombia has launched a competition to construct the 100-mile House. Inspired by the 100-mile Diet of locavore fame, in which you only eat what is grown or harvested within 100 miles of your home, the 100-mile house challenges you to construct historically, “using only materials and systems made/ manufactured / recycled” within a 100 mile radius.
But is this method truly better for the environment? Or just another example of pretentious pseudo-greenery?
More after the break…