When people think about cutting-edge architecture and design, they often think about high-costs and space-age technology. But a key component of the Living Building Challenge is to use as many recycled and reusable materials as possible to save natural resources, energy, and costs.
So for past year and a half, we’ve been dumpster diving to salvage and use materials for the Brock Center that otherwise would go to the local landfill.
via Dumpster Diving to Save the Chesapeake Bay | Christy Everett.
Ugo Bardi: But what’s impressive is the growth of “construction minerals” which stands for sand, rock, cement and the like…. Think about that: 25 billion tons per year corresponds to more than three tons per person. Think of a ten kg cube [22 lbs] of rock and cement delivered to you and deposited in front of your door every morning, every day of the year.
via The concrete industry digs up 3 tons of rock per year for every person on Earth : TreeHugger.
The tool could be used for planning operations and closures, determining economic and technical feasibility and responsible every day management. The author of the project, Spanish Master’s Degree student Joan Esteban Altabella from the University of Jaume, has received the prize for the best paper presented at the 17th International Congress on Project Management and Engineering.
By finding additional purpose for the otherwise useless demolition and construction waste, the tool reduces the environmental impact caused by quarrying. The landfill operators can also achieve substantial cost reductions, if they employ the construction waste instead of landfill aggregate purchased from a quarry.
via Waste-handling improvements promised by new software tool – E & T Magazine.
By: SWR Staff
The European Union’s Science for Environment Policy publication has published a May 2013 study by Portuguese researchers that has projected huge environmental benefits from recycling construction and demolition waste.
Even after accounting for the impacts of the recycling process itself, the researchers found that over a standard 60-year lifespan, the recycling plant would likely produce more than 135,000 tonnes of CO2. However, their research found that the same plant would have prevented emissions of about 1.4 million tonnes over the same period, more than ten times what it produced.
Coelho, A. & de Brito, J.’s research paper, Environmental analysis of a construction and demolition waste recycling plant in Portugal – Part I: Energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
The research results predicted that the plant wasto use an amount of energy equivalent to more than 71,000 tonnes, but it conserved 563,000 tonnes, approximately eight times as much.
The researchers noted that these environmental benefits can only come to be, however, if the output materials produced by the recycling facility are effectively sent out and used for the fabrication of new products (especially construction related ones).
Read the entire article via Portugal study finds enviro benefits from recycling construction, demo waste.
David Coscia of the Los Angeles County Public Works, Environmental Programs Division, discussed the C&D ordinance in effect for the county. The ordinance requires demolition and grading projects to attain a 50 percent diversion rate, and new construction must attain a 65 percent diversion rate. He said that in 2010 projects achieved a 93 percent recycling rate, diverting more than 53,100 tons of debris.
He also provided some waste-to-energy options for the remaining C&D material that is not diverted. Unrecyclable wood, for example, can be processed via technologies such as gasification or hydrolysis into electricity or fuels such as ethanol, he said. Unrecyclable metals can be processed via pyrolysis or plasma arc gasification into a non-hazardous metal slag. The slag could be used in the production of roofing materials, sandblasting grit, or asphalt filler.
“CTs (conversion technologies) are an integral component of Los Angeles County’s long-term diversification strategy,” said Coscia. He adds, the county has worked with a C&D recycling facility in the county, IRS Demo, South Gate, Calif., to review its waste stream and facility operations in order to make recommendations about potential technology vendors that could specifically handle C&D waste.
He directed attendees to www.socalconversion.org for more information on L.A. County’s strategy.
via C&D Recycling Forum: Alternative Views – Construction & Demolition Recycling.