Household waste in Kamikatsu must be sorted into no fewer than 45 categories. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images
Household waste must be separated into no fewer than 45 categories, before being taken to a collection centre where volunteers ensure items go into the correct bin, occasionally issuing polite reminders to anyone who forgets to take the lid and label off a plastic bottle or remove nails from a plank of wood.
Advanced sensors and AI that can detect quickly and determine accurately what can be used among CDW and efficient robotic sorting could aid circular construction by vastly improving the recycling of a wide range of materials. The focus should be on the smart dismantling of buildings and ways of optimising cost-effective processes.
Put simply, logging is not a carbon solution. All told, the logging industry is the largest fossil fuel emitter in our state. In 2016, the Oregon Global Warming Commission reported that the wood products sector itself contributed 50% more pollution than the transportation and energy sector combined.
Illustrations: Above, the symbol for the Embedawatt, as envisioned by AARCH staff; and below a Medium Sized House Energy Chart courtesy of Jerry Jenkins (from Climate Change in the Adirondacks).
Assuming the new house is more energy efficient than an existing house, it still takes an average of 40 years for an energy efficient new house to recover the energy and carbon expended in the construction of the house (Empty Homes Agency, 2008).
“We’re seeing these forests disappear overnight. It’s happening so fast, and there’s very little old growth left in this part of B.C. It’s an environmental crisis that’s no less tragic than the loss of coral reefs and tropical rainforests.”
Deforestation is one factor contributing to unprecedented consumption of materials in recent years. (Photo: World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr/cc)
Half of the materials used each year are clay, gravel, sand, and other materials used for construction, and about 40% of the materials used are turned into housing—yet according to the Homeless World Cup Foundation, an estimated 100 million people worldwide are homeless and as many as 1.6 billion people have inadequate housing.
Nearly 100 opponents of the proposed waste facility on Allens Avenue in Providence raise their hands in silent protest at the Jan. 21 meeting of the City Plan Commission. (Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News)
During the rally, City Council member Pedro Espinal described how the addition of about 200 trucks per day heading to and from the proposed waste-processing facility would impact the five schools in neighborhood. “This facility will only increase the pollution and contaminants of South Providence,” Espinal said.
If the research pans out, it would allow future astronauts to construct off-world settlements without needing to carry expensive, heavy building materials with them all the way from Earth — a game-changer in the plan to colonize space.
A semi-truck hauls a turbine blade to the Casper Regional Landfill to be disposed of.
They are making a pretty large profit from the deal; $675,485 to be exact. “So the revenue from the special projects, um, that go in the unlined area, help with the whole cost of our facility so it keeps all of our rates low. Helping with the revenue source, so absolutely, we’re making money on it.”
“Every time we put a road down, we put a building and we cut a tree or add a tree, it not only affects that site, it affects the region. The study placed a value on tree loss based on trees’ role in air pollution removal and energy conservation.
A flood-plain forest grows now where there used to be houses in the Watson Crampton neighborhood in Woodbridge, N.J., as seen from the air on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. The Heards Brook on the top meets the Woodbridge River on the left, which leads to the Atlantic Ocean. Homeowners here took buyouts through a program that purchases houses and demolishes them to remove people from danger and to help absorb water from rising sea levels due to climate change. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Blue Acres has so far lined up funding to buy 1,156 properties statewide. It has made offers on nearly 1,000 homes, closed deals on more than 700, and knocked down more than 640 in flood-danger areas across New Jersey, according to Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The Dunn Landfill in Rensselaer, N.Y., pictured above, occupies 80 acres in this 3.3-square-mile city. New York City, 150 miles south, is the source of much of the construction debris dumped in the landfill, which sits less than a mile from the local public school complex and this baseball field where children play. | David Ellis of Rensselaer Environmental Coalition
“It’s a huge waste stream that has big potential for recyclability but needs both the infrastructure and the legislation to make that happen,” said Justin Green, executive director of Big Reuse, a nonprofit organization that works on repurposing building materials. As far back as 2003, city officials were looking for ways to curb construction waste that ended up in landfills. “It is the right thing to do, for the environmental benefits of resource conservation, energy savings and pollution prevention,” the Department of Design and Construction, which oversees municipal projects, urged in a report 17 years ago.
The Growing Pavilion is made with natural materials, including mycelium.
Produced by creative organization Company New Heroes and biotechnology company Krown Design, the biobased building — put in place for Dutch Design Week — was built using only materials that grow on this earth, including timber and mycelium.
On the issue of waste in construction, Resource’s Allan Sandilands suggests that the lack of media coverage is a contributing factor to the limited public response to the sector’s waste problem. Where plastic pollution has been heavily documented in regard to its effects on wildlife, Sandilands notes no such coverage has occurred for the construction industry, which he refers to a the “silent sector”.
The Solid Waste Division (SWD) strives to enhance the efficacy of Construction & Demolition (C&D) recycling. SWD is offering a new $700,000 C&D Grant Program for innovative projects that support King County’s Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan (Comp Plan). As established in the King County Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP), King County aims to divert C&D materials from landfills at a rate of 85 percent by 2025, and also has a countywide goal of zero waste of resources by 2030.
SHERRY STREETER / SENTINEL PHOTO – Demolition progress on the former Swift and Co. plant in Shenandoah on Sept. 23, 2019.
The former Swift & Company plant at the corner of East Centre and North Bower, a three story brick warehouse stretching the length of the unit block of Bower, towered over the east end neighborhood since the late 1800s or early 1900s.
Windmill fan blades and motor housing components wait for disposal at the Casper Regional Landfill. Some 1,000 pieces from decommissioned wind turbines will be disposed of at the CRL by 2020, bringing an estimated $675,485 in new revenue to the landfill. (Photo courtesy of the Casper Regional Landfill staff)
Researchers at Washington State University are looking for ways to reuse the fiberglass components of aged-out turbines, but no practical commercial applications have yet been found. There is some hope that ground up blades can be used to create building materials, among other things.
Material passports specify the position, availability and value of the materials in your buildings. They support the circular economy by making it easier to identify and reuse products, tapping into inherent value rather than squandering it and starting from scratch. Instead of ‘crushing buildings into pretty useless rubble,’ as circular economy expert Duncan Baker-Brown of BBM Sustainable Design explains, material passports make beneficial deconstruction, or even keeping a building, more likely.
The building, built in 1913, will be completely torn down and the land will be used as a green space, Historic Preservation Coordinator Sharon Ferraro said. It is unknown if any of the stained glass inside the church, including the dome ceiling, will be preserved.
Between 30% and 35% of the total amount of generated waste in most developed countries is attributed to building sector activities such as building construction, renovation, and demolition processes, according to the official EU statistical data. In many countries on our list, the construction industry is often the largest culprit, generating more than 90% of the total waste produced in a country.
“If we can make use of and adapt existing building and infrastructure stock, we save new carbon and resources,” Dr Ness says.
Dr Ness says he was spurred on to write the book about overbuilding when, in 2015, the Adelaide City Council and State Government together claimed that emissions had declined even though city office stock had grown substantially.
NYC’s VIA 57 West building was one of the first pilot projects to recycle all new construction gypsum trim scrap.
Beyond the environmental impacts, “We’re throwing away valuable resources when we’re not recycling this material,” Kaminsky says. “In landfills, when materials are layered on top of other materials in humid, anaerobic conditions, we can see hydrogen sulfide generation. Gypsum is a major contributor to hydrogen sulfide gas, which is associated with the ‘rotten egg’ smell people are familiar with.”
Nowhere to go but down: Making room for an in-ground pool at 48-50 West 69th Street in Manhattan.CreditCreditBenjamin Norman for The New York Times
Antique fixtures restored or installed only a few years back in No. 48 were destroyed during the demolition, while the Japanese pagoda tree in front was chopped down to make way for construction machinery. (It cost the owners $16,000, payable to the Parks Department, to do so.)
In the words of Oak Park’s Stephen J. Kelly, a historic preservation specialist, “Will we continue to watch as pollution-spouting equipment turns usable buildings to rubble; more polluting equipment hauls away discarded building materials — concrete, brick, metal and glass — into a landfill to be abandoned?
By volume, the most widely used acoustic material is traditional fiberglass or molten rock materials. Once retired or demolished, these materials are nearly 100-percent disposed of as trash and put into landfills. Despite their obvious recyclability, there is no mechanism or infrastructure to process and reuse these materials. Consequently, none of them are recycled post-use nor made into new products.
“The building was gone.” He had unwittingly become a member of the “rubble club”. This is the tongue-in-cheek term coined in architectural circles to describe a relatively recent phenomenon – the fact that older architects are now outliving many of their own buildings. And in Hogan’s case, the toll of demolition has become relentlessly repetitive as more and more of his work is cleared away, to make room for bigger, contemporary office blocks.
It would also mark the latest of Furness’s works to be eradicated. Since the architect’s death in 1912, many of his Philly-based buildings fell into disrepair, and faced the wrecking ball—largely over the first half of the 20th Century.
Fulshear City Council voted to demolish the Switch House on FM 359 and salvage the materials for a future project. (Courtesy city of Fulshear)
“No one wanted this end result,” Assistant City Manager Brant Gary said. “But the results from the architect’s review, the current condition and the fact that that it had been converted into a more modern home. All of those things added to the decision-making process.”
Workers performing concrete chipping at substructure bridge repair sites had the highest level of respirable crystalline silica exposure, a time-weighted average of 527 micrograms per cubic meter of air. That is more than 10 times the PEL of 50 micrograms per cubic meter that OSHA established in its most recent silica regulation (1926.1153).
Berkeley County Water and Sanitation workers continued to cover mounds of waste with dirt on Thursday, January 10, 2019, to control any odor coming from the Berkeley County landfill on Highway 52. Brad Nettles/Staff. Brad Nettles email@example.com
It turns out that the problem began when construction and demolition debris was diverted from the landfill where those materials normally are buried and instead were put into the municipal solid waste landfill…
…C&D debris can include drywall, which contains gypsum, a substance that can produce hydrogen sulfide gas when exposed to water or moisture under anaerobic conditions within municipal solid waste.
Customers are taking note: 93% of global consumers expect more of the brands they use to support local social and environmental issues, according to a report by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). The report also found that an estimated 68 million adult Americans base purchasing decisions on their values – personal, social, and environmental – and say they will spend up to 20% more on environmentally sound products.
Hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents live in flood zones that can become inundated with storm water. But the state is trying to move some of them out of harm’s way in one of the biggest home buyout programs in the nation.
“We’ve received calls from desperate construction managers who want to comply with waste regulations and certification requirements, but honestly have no idea where to start,” Natarajan said. “High turnover in the industry exacerbates this issue as institutional knowledge is lost with each regrettable turnover.”
“It affects everyone,” said Morris Hylton, the president of Modern Gainesville, a local nonprofit aimed at preserving mid-century architecture. “It’s an architectural landmark deserving of preservation.”
Amanda Anderson, of Greensburg, an employee with American Architectural Salvage, tosses a ceramic mold onto a pile outside a building on Fifth Avenue in Tarentum that had housed a ceramics business on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. The building is being emptied and gutted to be redeveloped as a community center called ‘The Depot.’
The molds have been piled outside against the side of the building. They are destined to become clean fill, Rankin said.
Over the past few years, this contest has fueled the creation of some truly inventive designs. Last year, the winner, Taylor Lane, crafted a surfboard made from 10,000 cigarette butts that he collected from the apparently gross shores of the California coastline.
Children play in front of Sumner Elementary School in North Lawndale. Across the street, the construction dump looms. (Photo: Photo courtesy of Sumner Elementary School archive)
“I just thought, ‘Well, somebody’s just parking their trucks in there,’” said Woodson, “’til a guy said, ‘Ms. Woodson, come down, look at this. Do you know that somebody’s over there dumping in that lot?’” And they were. Load after load of broken concrete, rebar, bricks and stones