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.
On April 25, the New Hampshire Demolition crew had knocked down most of the former St. Peter’s main church and had a pile of stone to show for it. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff
But if a property owner wants to tear down a historical building, there’s no law – local, state or otherwise – that can stop them once they’ve gone through the demolition permit process, Shank said.
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.”
Flames and smoke rise from the interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019, after a fire engulfed the building. ( PHILIPPE WOJAZER AFP/Getty Images)
As the oak frame met its end, so too did remnants of Europe’s dwindling ancient forests.
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.
Source: Recyclability of Acoustics
VETERAN ARCHITECT: BRIAN HOGAN
“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.
The Spanish Colonial Revival-style structure. Rag & Bone blog
A few months ago, North Carolina-based developer Grubb Properties demolished the old Grant Park School, a Spanish Colonial Revival-style structure built in 1930.
Photo by Melissa Romero
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.”
Public Domain Concrete demolition via PXhere
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.
Flanked by two office buildings also owned by Meridian, the Victorian home is the only one currently slated for demolition. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Over the objections of residents who pleaded that it be saved, the Red Bank planning board approved the demolition of a 118-year-old Victorian house owned by Riverview Medical Center Monday night.
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.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer
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
Should a huge new house supplant a more modestly sized old one?
One of the ironies of the tear down trend is that the new construction usually features “green” elements such as solar collectors, LED lighting systems, triple-glazed windows, heat sinks and super-insulated walls and roofs. But the bigger new houses encroach upon open space, uprooting mature plantings that benefit air quality, and remove trees that can provide shade and minimize the energy required to cool buildings.
Source: Don’t Tear Down This Old House
“We create garden art, sculptures and furniture out of scrap steel and found objects,” Sims said. She added that her past work as an industrial welder “influences the creative process.”
Demolition contractor Brant Grimm told the Times-News Friday he expects to begin razing Rogersville’s historic Blue Spring House in three to four weeks. He said he said he’s willing to salvage the brick and some large timbers from the 175-year old structure, but that wasn’t part of his original plan.
On Tuesday, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen agreed to award the bid to demolish the Blue Spring House, which dates back almost 200 years, on East Main Street to Kingsport-based Grimm Construction for $23,900.
Photo by: Rick Danzl/The News-Gazette
The Burnham mansion at 603 W. Church St., Champaign.
“The properties were originally constructed in the late 1800s for use as private residences, but in recent years they have been subdivided into multiple apartment units. The properties are wood-frame construction. Many of the original architectural elements remain in the properties,” the notice said.
Looptworks CEO Scott Hanlin said they collected more than 350,000 pounds of uniforms. Anything that’s still high quality was donated; anything that didn’t fit the bill was modified. “That’s what Looptworks does really well, is working together with companies to get zero waste to landfills and repurpose a lot of those materials,” Hanlin said.
“The individuals and companies arrested in connection with this alleged illegal dumping scheme put the health of Suffolk County residents at risk out of pure greed,” Sini said. “These defendants are alleged to have knowingly dumped solid waste and potentially hazardous materials into our residents’ backyards and parks just to line their pockets.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo estimated 5 million tons of construction and demolition debris is generated annually in the New York metro area. Much of it ends up in the mid-Hudson.“Due to the rural nature of the mid-Hudson Valley area and its proximity to New York City, illegal dumping has been an especially difficult problem through the region,” Cuomo said in February 2017. “Haulers see an easy way to cut costs by dumping loads of waste sourced from New York City in the mid-Hudson Valley.”
Mr Maguire said the day will not only be about fixing damaged items, but also about bringing the community together through a celebration of practical skills that are often overlooked in today’s modern world.
Currently, six members face more than four years imprisonment each along with a fine of up to $30,000 that will be used to demolish and destroy all of the effort that the group put into rebuilding the village over the last five years.
MDF is widely used in the walls of buildings and has so far proven hard to recycle. Credit: Pxhere, licensed under CC0
‘At the end of the building or renovating you probably have fibreboard as waste and, at this point, it’s not recyclable—it’s only burnt or landfilled,’ explained Dr. Vanreppelen. ‘But we’ve developed a process to use it to make a product called activated carbon, which is used as a filter in water purifiers or gas masks.’
Due to a rapid population growth, historic buildings all over Portland are being demolished to make more room for the growing city. But these historic buildings and landmarks help give the city its’ character. That character is what helped portland gain it’s ‘odd-ball’ reputation. Are those days over? Is the city changing permanently? Caleb is a Portland native whose goal is to capture the character of old Portland and share it with us all
Entrance to the Dunn C&D Landfill Thursday Jan. 11, 2018 in Rensselaer, NY. (John Carl D’Annibale/Times Union)
“It is evident that a number of environmental factors including noise, dust and others were not clearly documented or fully considered in the findings statement when submitted for the permit,” according to the Sierra Club. “We look forward to working with citizens of Rensselaer in this review to ensure we understand the breadth of the issues involved.”
Currently, certain collectors of construction and demolition debris are able to circumvent the requirement to recycle 75 percent by weight of recovered materials by processing mostly concrete and other heavy debris – leaving solid waste to accumulate on site.
The marijuana industry is changing, the snow in the mountains is melting and equipment is rusting, some of it never to be used again. Rather than littering the mountainside, why not donate this equipment to a good cause?
The photograph, dated 1920, shows the original location of the Junk Co., which later became Marine Supply & Hardware, still in business today. Photo: Anacortes Museum
The Anacortes Junk Co. building, which was originally a livery stable for horses in the 1890s, was where Efthemios “Mike” Demopoulos opened Marine Supply & Hardware in 1910. The port is opting to tear down the building after a structural engineer’s report deemed it unsafe for occupants.
One of Rogersville oldest houses is going to be torn down, but local leaders are hoping someone salvage the building materials, such as its abundance of antebellum brick, to help save other historic structures.
The board voted unanimously to solicit bids for someone to remove the structure, either for cash alone or as a part of an agreement to use the materials to perform renovations elsewhere in the city.
According to the study, “reduce, reuse and recycle” policies are necessary to control the amount of construction waste, but insufficient resources, lack of standardization, slim profit margins, policy apathy and lack of education on the issues are keeping that from happening. The Asia Pacific region is expected to generate a majority of the construction waste in the year to come, followed by North America. Europe, according to the report, has developed the best construction waste management technologies.
Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s hammer some bricks!
It is a genuinely comforting thought, that when you look at a brick building any one of those bricks can originate from many different places. Apart from the green-tech-recycling aspect, this makes buildings ooze of history — even if they are brand new.
GLEAN is a juried art program that seeks to inspire people to think about their consumption habits, the waste they generate, and the resources they throw away by tapping into the creativity of artists from the Portland metro region.
Five GLEAN artists will be given access to the Metro Central transfer station (“the dump”) for five months to glean materials to make art. The program culminates in a formal exhibition in the fall. Artists will be paid a $2,000 stipend and receive 80% commission from the sale of their art at the exhibition.
Source: Biocycler, Kickstarter
The process involves, “embedding mycelium (the vegetative part of fungi, with masses of branching, thread-like hyphae) in agricultural waste to make robust building material.”
Three houses are the focus of the petition. Photos from petition website.
“Classic style defines what exists in the neighborhood today, and your plans will amount to an architectural bomb disrupting a consistently historic street,” the petition says.
Demolition at 79 Henry St. began Monday morning. Joseph Phelan — firstname.lastname@example.org
“We all grew up here. You see things [in the building] and then you remember, oh I remember that room,” Nemec saod. “I remember we use to play hide and seek in there, or we used to help the customers. It’s just weird. It’s weird to see your life fall apart right now.”
Interior of the Lockridge Medical Clinic (photo by Adam Jeselnick)
“None of us are aware of why the owner changed his mind and moved up his demolition plans.” She added that Ruis had also rejected a request to salvage architectural elements, either prior to or during the demolition process.
The exterior of the Lockridge Medical Clinic, pre-demolition. (Courtesy Montana Preservation Alliance)
The FLWBC notes that this is the first viable, or mostly un-altered, Wright building to be torn down in 40 years, and that it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The demolition was done by developer Mick Ruis in Whitefish, Montana.
This video captures the moment when contractors took the roof off a home and sent bricks flying out onto power lines and the road; and knocked the water main open on the corner. Residents had been asking about the poor dust control measures moments before this happened
In chapter 3, Larry Strain makes a great case for renovation, noting that there are two reasons to do it: The first is to reduce operating emissions from existing buildings, and that applies to all buildings. The second is to reduce embodied emissions by renovating existing structures instead of building new ones.
Biological House was unveiled in Middelfart, Denmark. Photo via Inhabitat
Tomato stems and wood chips, for example, were turned into composite boards, which were then used to build the house. Collaborating with another local architectural practice GXN, Een Til Een used digital production technology to design an adaptable structure that can be quickly assembled and just as easily disassembled—which is why it was built on screw piles instead of a traditional concrete foundation.