The implications of reuse and recycling for the design of steel buildings1
Mark Gorgolewski

Abstract: There is an increasing interest in reuse and recycling in the Canadian construction industry. This interest is driven partly by the recent adoption in Canada of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System and partly by a greater general awareness of environmental issues. Designers are beginning to look at how to incorporate reused steel components into construction projects, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions by saving on primary steel production. However, although some designers are willing to redesign their projects to make use of available reclaimed structural steel components, it is often difficult to identify suitable materials in the local area at the appropriate time in the life of a project. A limiting factor is that designers, construction companies, and others perceive a lack of a well-established and easily available mechanism for exchange of reclaimed components. This paper reviews the issues that are relevant to increasing recycling and reuse in construction and focuses on examples that illustrate the benefits that steel can bring to sustainable construction. In particular, it discusses the issues relevant to designing to enable future disassembly and the way in which steel components can be readily reused. Key words: reclaimed steel, reuse of materials, steel recycling, design for deconstruction, sustainable construction. Résumé : L’intérêt s’accroît envers la réutilisation et le recyclage dans l’industrie canadienne de la construction, principalement en raison de l’adoption au Canada du Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System et par l’accroissement général de la sensibilisation aux questions environnementales. Les concepteurs commencent à examiner la manière d’incorporer des composants en acier récupéré dans les projets de construction, réduisant ainsi les émissions de gaz à effet de serre en économisant sur la production d’acier primaire. Toutefois, bien que certains concepteurs soient prêts à repenser leurs projets pour utiliser des composants en acier structurel récupéré, il est souvent difficile d’identifier les matériaux adéquats disponibles localement au moment approprié de la vie d’un projet. Un facteur limitatif est que les concepteurs, les compagnies de construction et d’autres perçoivent qu’il n’y a pas de mécanisme bien établi et facilement disponible pour échanger des composants récupérés. Cet article examine les questions connexes à l’augmentation du recyclage et de la réutilisation dans la construction et met l’emphase sur des exemples illustrant les avantages que l’acier peut apporter dans la construction durable. Plus particulièrement, il aborde les questions touchant la conception dans le but de faciliter le démantèlement futur et la manière dont les composants en acier peuvent être rapidement et facilement réutilisés. Mots clés : acier récupéré, réutilisation des matériaux, recyclage de l’acier, conception pour le démantèlement, construction durable. [Traduit par la Rédaction] Mark Gorgolewski 496 habit of their Bodies; so that Catharrs, Phthisicks, Coughs and Consumptions, rage more in this one City, than in the whole Earth besides.

1. Introduction
Environmental degradation is not new, as can be seen from this description of London by Evelyn (1661):
… her Inhabitants breathe nothing but an impure and thick Mist, accompanied with a fuliginous and filthy vapour, which renders them obnoxious to a thousand inconveniences, corrupting the Lungs, and disordering the entire Received 1 December 2004. Revision accepted 10 January 2006. Published on the NRC Research Press Web site at http://cjce.nrc.ca on 13 May 2006. M. Gorgolewski. Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada (e-mail: mgorgo@ryerson.ca). Written discussion of this article is welcomed and will be received by the Editor until 31 August 2006.

But the global scale of it is new, as this quote from Gro Harlem Brundtland (1994) on the challenge of sustainable production and consumption patterns suggests:
… it is simply impossible for the world as a whole to sustain a Western level of consumption for all. In fact, if 7 billion people were to consume as much energy and resources as we do in the West today we would need 10 worlds, not one, to satisfy all our needs.

This article is one of a selection of papers published in this Special Issue on Steel Research.

In reality, the sustainability debate is very much about the old truth that the poison is the dose. The Earth can sustain a small human population consuming and polluting to Western levels or a larger number with a far more ecologically appropriate lifestyle. But it cannot absorb 7 or 8 billion people all wishing to have a Western lifestyle. Thus, sustainability is about balancing population numbers with the level of resource use and pollution, and if we do not recognise this then the
© 2006 NRC Canada

Can. J. Civ. Eng. 33: 489–496 (2006)


In today’s global economic climate. is being encouraged to improve the efficiency with which it uses materials. addresses new commercial construction.0 Green Building Rating System (CaGBC 2004).490 Can. and the use of waste materials from construction. the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System has provided a framework for informing building design and construction decision-making. It is also used to evaluate the sustainability of building projects. the Brundtland Commission report for the United Nations. and collection of recyclables. It is recognised that the use of recycled materials and the reuse of components in buildings can lead to lower environmental impacts. if nothing is done. The materials and resources category deals with efficient use of material resources. materials and resources. elimination of chlorofluorocarbons. In addition. a building can be classified as certified (26–32 points). fuelled by an expected increase in GDP of about 30% (Environment Canada 2005). Much of this is associated with the use of resources and the creation of emissions and waste (CIRIA 1992). Civ. 1. landfills are becoming more expensive. The construction industry. The construction industry is the dominant user of most minerals. including both proven practices and emerging technologies. LEED® provides a stimulus for change in the industry and an indication of the importance of the conservation of materials and resources. in common with many others. Thirteen points are available for storage and collection of recyclables. competitive advantage realised through efficient resource use is likely to generate greater strategic © 2006 NRC Canada . These reasons include issues of economics. often leading to reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design In North America over the last few years. the reuse of buildings and components. 33. In Canada. such as minimum energy performance. For better or for worse. indoor environmental quality.187 Mt). environmental. Construction industry The construction industry represents 12% of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) and has a tremendous impact on our environment. LEED® has been rapidly embraced as a design tool by designers and owners interested in addressing sustainability issues and bringing additional value to their projects. 1. Construction professionals give many reasons for not embracing recycled materials and used components more widely. truth is likely to be forced on us by the very real limits of the Earth’s ability to provide resources and absorb pollution. 3% more than the previous year (Environment Canada 2005). initiatives of the federal and provincial governments are encouraging the construction industry to use new processes that conserve primary resources and minimize waste. gold (39–51 points). In addition to global warming. and we will have to recycle and mine the landfills (Brown 1990). Vol. which equates to about 571 Mt/year. other concerns are the rapid depletion of mineral reserves and the creation of waste for disposal.1. so Canada has set targets for reducing the amount of material going into landfills. and local or regional materials as appropriate. we must develop patterns of resource use and pollution that can be accommodated by the Earth without significant long-term damage. Canada’s GHG production in 2003 was 740 Mt per year. and use of recycled content. Canada’s emissions in 2010. defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED 1987). Up to 70 points are available. The LEED Canada-NC® version 1. These processes include the recycling of materials. and other industries. or platinum (52–70). The country’s Kyoto commitment is to reduce emissions to 6% below 1990 levels. There are also prerequisites that must be met. and material recycling and reuse. demolition. and high-rise residential buildings in Canada. As the world’s human population will not decrease for the foreseeable future. 2006 Fig. Approximately 30% of total energy use and GHG emissions result from operating buildings. Our Common Future. 1. adopted in 2004. However. At the same time. Depending on the total number of points achieved. renewable materials. energy and atmosphere. Eng. or perception. reuse of resources. but they are often exacerbated by prejudice and the lack of information and clear guidance. Canada also ranks second only to the United States in per capita generation of solid waste per year.2. approximately 40% of annual national resource production is consumed by the construction industry. the practical. This would exceed the Kyoto commitment by 30%. and economic aspects of using these materials are often not properly understood within the construction industry. J. technical considerations. The consumption of non-renewable resources and the creation of wastes have been identified as among the key issues that our society must address on behalf of future generations. silver (33–38 points). by 2008–2012. C&D waste represents about 35% of the total waste stream in Canada (CCA 2001) and weighs 11 Mt (Fig. water efficiency. Credits are organized within six core categories: sustainable sites. component. Currently. major renovations. Canadian construction and demolition waste (total 11. and innovation and design process. These can be scored for a range of measures. including building. 1). management of construction waste. it is estimated that 10%–30% of GHG emissions are generated indirectly by the production and transport of building materials and construction and demolition (C&D) waste (Busby 2002). and the Worldwatch Institute estimates that by 2030 the world will have run out of many raw materials for buildings. reuse of buildings. Furthermore. are predicted to be more than 800 Mt.

easiest and most economical way to get the job done. siding. where all waste is treated as a resource. and other European countries are following suit.3. a drop in primary resource use. glass. and the steel salvage market accounts for an additional 4 Mt/year. partly driven by new European Union directives. with a history dating back thousands of years. which uses between 20% and 100% recycled steel to manufacture new steel (depending on the technology used). In such a system. Steel production creates a significant demand for scrap steel. stimulating recycling and inherently contributing to sustainable design efforts. but at much lower levels than are typical today. as this scrap is a feedstock to the steel manufacturing process. in addition to optimizing consumption of energy and materials and minimizing waste generation. conditions create barriers to this. and rebar. in which recycling is well established. approximately 40 Mt (59% of total recycled steel) was derived from C&D waste. and decreased GHG emissions. even though extensive production of steel did not begin until the 19th century. Worldwide. organizational and economic 1. Many materials recovered from demolition projects can be incorporated into new construction. as expressed by Frosch and Gallopoulos (1989): Manufacturing processes in an industrial ecosystem simply transform circulating stocks of materials from one shape to another. The American Institute of Architects Environmental Resource Guide (AIA 1997) also states that every kilogram of steel produced from recycled sources rather than from raw materials saves 12. 600 kg of coal. However. Nevertheless. aluminium. Furthermore. Sources of steel in the C&D waste stream include structural steel sections. Each tonne of recycled steel saves 1100 kg of iron ore. can seem costly and laborious compared to the norm. Reuse of steel components is still rare. mechanical and electrical systems. which still requires significant sources of energy and creates emissions. should be transformed into a more integrated model: an industrial ecosystem. and 50 kg of limestone. However. the next year in an automobile. Both Sweden and Germany have programs to reduce C&D waste by 50% in 10 years. There is increased recognition that waste is an asset to be valued and that the use of recycled and reused materials can lead to waste reduction. There is a need to identify methods that will facilitate disassembly of buildings so that components can become valuable resources for the next generation of buildings. such as blast furnace slag from steel manufacture and fly ash from electricpower generation.Mark Gorgolewski 491 benefits. 1. McDonough and Braungart (2002) and others advocate a more significant change to systems that are based on the principles of industrial ecology. and 97% less mining waste is created. the incremental cost will be diminished or even eliminated when practices become more standardized and when the cost savings in terms of recycling and reuse as well as the environment are factored into the overall equation. Traditional models of industrial activity. the effluents of one process. in which individual manufacturing processes take in raw materials and generate products to be sold plus waste to be disposed of. Steel recycling Each structural system has opportunities and constraints when evaluated as a part of an environmental design effort. making designing for disassembly a more economical venture. Potentially. 47% less oil is used. the consumption of primary resources. In North America. and this requires easier disassembly of buildings. thus significantly reducing or eliminating the need for primary material resources. reuse should be the next step in the move to an industrial ecology system. reuse requires minimal reprocessing. less money will be spent on new materials or landfill. Such recycling still requires the expenditure of energy and the unavoidable generation of wastes and harmful by-products. 86% fewer emissions to air are produced. and that we need to redesign our systems so that all materials at the end of one life cycle become a resource for the next. However. 400 Mt of steel was recycled in 2001—more than the amount of all other recycled materials (including paper. serve as the raw material for other processes. although mechanisms are required to stimulate the market for recovered resources. The steel industry has well-established infrastructure for scrap collection. renovation and demolition are heavily geared towards the fastest. According to the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI 2004). most steel salvaged from C&D waste goes for recycling. Opportunities for recycling and reuse To close the loop between demolition of one project and construction of the next. In Europe. the circulating stock decreases when some material is unavoidably lost. is a very mature process. The iron cycle. studs and tracks. Both manufacturers and consumers need to change their habits to more closely match those of an industrial ecosystem if the industrialized world is to maintain its standard of living and the developing nations are to raise theirs to a similar level without adversely affecting the environment. Currently. resources are not depleted any more than those in a biological ecosystem: a piece of steel could potentially show up one year in a drink can. 2.4. 40% less water is used. increases in the reuse and recycling of materials and components. and energy for transport is generally the only significant impact. when viewed in isolation. to move significantly toward such a system requires changes to the way things are done in the construction industry and. and the pressure to reduce waste going to landfills—have stimulated interest in the role of recycling and reuse of construction materials. about 70 Mt of steel is recycled in North America. Industry scepticism and tradition have been identified by Catalli and Williams (2001) as standing in the way of designing for disassembly: Standard practices for construction. 76% less water is contaminated. C&D waste has been identified as a primary waste stream and targeted for reduction.5 MJ of energy. and 10 years later in the structural frame of a building. Thus. and it increases to meet the needs of a growing population. demolition should be seen as the © 2006 NRC Canada . Strategies for change These three major issues—the reduction of GHGs from the production and transport of buildings materials. In an ideal industrial ecosystem. Designing and constructing for disassembly. in particular. and designers lack clear information and guidance on the benefits of reused and recycled materials and products. and plastic).

in many cases the steel components would be damaged and only suitable for recycling. ideally a subgroup within the design team with responsibility for waste minimization. Wyatt and Gilleard (1994) advocated the following: Disassembly technology is the antithesis to the technology that put the building together in the first place. repair. Vol. Product level—The components of the building. (iii) insufficient quantity of any one material or product at the time of use and unreliable markets. The design of the components needs to facilitate easy separation of the constituent materials so that economic recycling can occur. failures. (8) Communicate progress to disseminate information on success. At the end of a photocopiers life or when it is superseded it is taken back and ‘asset stripped’. particularly as economic value is attached to the various salvaged components. has developed the following formalized steps toward meeting the design challenge of reducing waste and increasing recycling and reuse (CIRIA 1998): (1) Secure the commitment of all participants by expressing potential benefits.1. producers of goods would be required to take them back at the end of their life for reuse. the following issues need to be addressed: (i) willingness of the client. components should be incorporated into buildings in a way that facilitates separation and reuse. and (iv) a clear definition of the term “waste”. the demand for the components is increasing. To achieve this goal. Every stage of the construction project cycle presents opportunities for the project team to promote or allow the use of recycled or reused materials. (7) Monitor the implementation. Design for disassembly The cost and ease of removal of components from a building at the end of its life are significant factors affecting the amount of reuse and recycling that occurs. Thought is needed at the design stage about final obsolescence and about how the environmental and financial value of a building can be maximized at the end of its useful life. and lessons learned. Material level—When a component has been stripped back to its constituent materials. working for the British Airport Authority on the potential Terminal 5 site at Heathrow Airport. Eng. some legislation is making the producer responsible for disposal of products at the end of their useful life. as Fletcher et al. Nevertheless. upgradeable components. To achieve this it helps for buildings to be constructed in layers so that the most-replaced components form the most-accessible layers. (2) Plan and organize by choosing the right team. the designer. Xerox the photocopier supplier have adopted the DfD (design for dismantling) approach. 2000): Systems level—This calls for adaptable.. Similar approaches may soon be extended to the North American construction sector. and materials that can be separated are all now being incorporated into the next generation of appliances. such as with rebar. 2006 start of the new project and as an opportunity to integrate the resources available from the old building into future building work. (6) Set up a brainstorming session to determine the options and the alternatives. This process has led to a realization that simpler designs and assembly processes using fewer materials. 3. such as steel cladding. This provides more incentive for steel components to be extracted undamaged and suitable for reuse with little or no reprocessing. and materials should be chosen that can be readily reused or recycled. J. Many materials that require little or no processing before reuse are being treated by regulators as waste. durable. the ease with which components can be recovered from a building is greatly affected by how the building was put together in the first place.specification of structure to allow for future change. Cars are now being designed to enable recovery of components on “unassembly lines” and easier replacement and reuse of worn parts. and replacement. Civ. with which they can be readily extracted from the waste stream as a result of their magnetic property. flexible steel structures. are more suitable for disassembly. these can be recycled. Guidance For easy disassembly. The design of such buildings may require some over. the contractor. or disposal. 33. have begun to consider the end of life disposal of their products. A review of design for easier future disassembly has suggested that guidance may be grouped under the following headings (Fletcher et al. in some cases leading to cost savings. benefits. reuse. (4) Collect data to determine quantities and costs. (ii) reliability and safety of second-hand materials and liability in the event of their failure. and the public to accept secondhand materials. In Europe. With traditional demolition practices. not for reuse. To facilitate disassembly. (3) Carry out an initial review to map what is needed and who will do what. that can adapt to changing requirements. are designed to allow upgrading. Simply by reverse running the process of construction (back to the manufacturer if needs be) and looking at the building and its constituent parts we may have far reaching consequences for the transition point of building demolition. Such a policy is likely to lead to more interest in buildings designed to facilitate deconstruction. In this way the supply of salvaged components for reuse can be increased. This basic disassembly frees many of the existing elements enabling them to form the basis of the new model. For example. Other industries are rethinking how products are put together so that the usefulness and value of components at the end of their life can be maximized. and the cost of disposal to landfill is also increasing. (5) Prioritize waste management strategies based on the calculated true cost of waste. with a long life. (2000) have identified: Reversible joints. removal of steel components is attractive because of the high value of scrap steel and the ease . Processes such as bonding and finishing should not make recycling difficult. encouraged by legislation and competition. However. Entec UK Ltd. recycling. the designer should consider the following: © 2006 NRC Canada 3. Car manufacturers. Demolition practices are now gradually including disassembly.492 Can.

should be avoided. relocatable buildings. whether the manufacturer or a third party. 2000. such as screening with mineral wool or encasing in gypsum. Thus. Thus. Demolition is the reverse of construction. which can be disassembled. (4) Whoever is doing the reclaiming. are more amenable to recycling than encasing in concrete or spraying. Reuse of steel components. CIRIA 1998. (3) The product structure should lend itself to reuse. from a range of 25–100 years for the main structure to perhaps a range of only 5–10 years for internal fitout and even shorter periods for furniture and decoration. Potential problems during refurbishment and eventual dismantling should be investigated. such as disassembly or refurbishment plans. Reuse is more realistic for engineered components. (3) The building should be built in layers that can be easily replaced as necessary throughout the life of the building. 2 (7) Complex composite materials are difficult to separate and recycle. Generally. as reuse generally requires little reprocessing. off the shelf. Some treatments. Designers who have attempted this say that “using reclaimed materials adds a whole new level of complexity to the project” (Chapman and Simmonds2). and ways of reusing it should be clear. © 2006 NRC Canada . One of the principal problems with reuse is coordinating demand with supply. point of view it is desirable that as many components of a building as possible be extracted from the waste stream for reuse at the end of their useful life. (9) Materials applied in wet construction. reused components do not generally come off the shelf. allowing site access for machinery and designing floors to take the additional load of demolition plant and rubble should be a consideration.. requires designers and contractors to be more flexible. 4.Mark Gorgolewski 493 (1) Choosing materials and parts. Thus. Fletcher et al. (5) Sufficient space should be provided for the machinery that will be needed for dismantling. such as bolts rather than welds. (4) Simple structural grids with clear support lines will be most easily understood during disassembly and will provide regular-sized components that can most easily be reused. should be considered. cannot generally be reused and are often more difficult to recycle. may need instructions. Reuse is not usually possible for materials such as concrete that need to be demolished (concrete can be crushed for use as aggregate. Reversible mechanical fixings are preferable. This category often includes treatments and finishes applied on site. rather. designers should consider at the outset how components will be replaced in the building during its useful life and how the building will be dismantled at the end of its life to maximize the usefulness of the components and materials. (8) Prefabricated components that are assembled on site can often be easily disassembled for reuse or recycling. More designers are looking for opportunities to use steel components from the demolition of existing buildings in their new designs. and this can affect the whole design and construction process: “reclaimed materials do not show up at the right time. and the design team should consider this process and prepare a strategy for the dismantling of the building similar to that developed for many temporary. details of refurbishment work carried out during the life of the building. the building’s lifetime changes. With a traditional approach to design. The design team needs to think through. Mountain Equipment Co-op Ottawa store: CBIP-C2000 case study. Ont. which is downcycling). specifications for materials used in construction. However. SCI 2000): (1) A disassembly plan should be provided. are more likely to be reused or recycled. Unpublished report. The components with the shortest lifetimes should be in the most easily accessible layers. Salvaged components may not be readily available off the shelf and may be difficult to source. Materials secured with bolts or screws are easier to deconstruct than those secured with nails or rivets. in the right amount or the right dimension” (SCI 2000). Reuse In general. and Simmonds. (2) Components with fasteners and connections that are designed to be easy and quick to take apart. and information relevant to dismantling that would enable materials to be readily extracted for reuse and their specifications to be followed through their different life phases. which are largely driven by fashion and not physical obsolescence. greater environmental benefits result from reusing steel components than from recycling them. the building should be designed so that each component can easily be removed and recycled when obsolete. or information. from an environmental. the steel components are specified and sized to suit the spanning requirements of the architect’s proposals. (12) During a building’s life there should be a log that includes information on the design of the original building. 2000. L. at the concept stage. Ottawa. that have recognised routes for recycling and reuse will greatly encourage their reuse in future. For example. (2) The lifetime of various components in a building can vary considerably. such as steel and components. Processes that are inherently irreversible. (5) Time should be allowed for a building to be disassembled at the end of its useful life. mechanical fixings are easier to separate than adhesives or cement. (6) Methods of fixing are important. however. This is not a problem if new steel components are to be used. (11) Hazardous materials create many future problems and should be avoided. such as in situ concrete or plaster. (10) The impact of certain treatments. C. and often economic. they are identified on demolition sites by salvage contrac- Chapman. The following general guidance on designing for dismantling has been suggested by various authors (Wyatt and Gilleard 1994. A UK study by the Steel Construction Institute suggests that reuse leads to significantly greater environmental benefits than recycling and correlates well with savings in GHG emissions (SCI 2000). such as fire protection for steel. such as welding. such as specifications for the materials.

salvaged steel of the required size may not be readily available. contractors to view the materials before submitting a bid. and delays can occur if key components cannot be readily sourced or there are delays in the demolition process. when the project is proceeding to construction. the situation is likely to quickly change with altering priorities and as salvage contractors become more aware of the value of the components they extract. this will involve the design team in considerable additional research at the front end of the project to identify. Civ. For structural design.494 Can. This requires that the available steel components be identified early in the design process and purchased or reserved to prevent the salvage contractor from selling them elsewhere. Thus. which may last years. Furthermore. Many other materials and products are straightforward to use. 33. the starting point for the new design may in the future be an inventory of available materials from salvage. if any. 2. Eng. At present. salvage contractors will guarantee the availability of specific materials or products for the duration of the design and tender period. with significant environmental and cost benefits.1. in some areas consultants who specialize in material procurement are emerging. and choose appropriate components. This may have severe cash flow implications and management consequences. inspect. Appropriate contractual procedures are necessary. However. 4. locate. there is likely to be greater uncertainty over costs. According to Taggart (2001). Examples A considerable number of reclaimed wide-flange steel sections are used in many areas of Canada by the shoring industry. the difficulties of incorporating salvaged materials into new buildings discourage clients and designers from embracing reuse unless it is for principled rather than financial reasons. Part of the new structure for the Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Ottawa was designed around steel structural components dismantled from a building on the site. An alternative approach is to identify and purchase a suitable building already condemned for demolition that contains suitable structural steel or other components and then to reuse as many components as possible in the new project. but may be more difficult to source … Procuring all the materials in advance of tender requires money up front and a great deal of research. Vol. Engineers and architects can benefit from developing working relationships with salvage and demolition contractors to increase their own awareness of available salvaged materials and thus to improve their choices when such components are required. the size and length of the available members will then determine the spans and spacing possible in the new structure. In addition. In addition. Few. 2006 Fig. J. If pre-purchase of components is not possible. but enables tender documents to be complete. Although material costs can be lower through reuse. © 2006 NRC Canada . when a contractor has not yet been appointed. and their expertise can reduce the risks of disruption or delay. Creating a workable structure for a new building using salvaged materials can be the single biggest challenge for architects. as the client might be required to dedicate resources to the purchase of components early in the design phase. as the final materials might not be specified at the time of tendering. tors. This may necessitate redesigning to suit the available salvaged components or choosing whichever oversized components are readily available. Furthermore. it is essential to build flexibility into the structural design so that alternative options can be used and the design can be adjusted to suit component availability later in the process. there may be a further need for testing to ascertain the structural qualities of the components involved. To maximize the potential for reuse. thus maximizing structural efficiency with the available components. it must be recognised that these may be offset by higher labour costs and increased design fees for the additional research required.

Norway. Worldwatch Institute. 47(7): 18–19. D. 5. The state of the world. 2002. existing buildings should be treated as sources of materials for our future buildings. Canadian Architect. these are largely “end of pipe” solutions. D.H. This requires a change in the approach of designers. a building dedicated to circus productions and presentations. is caused by decisions made at the References AIA. so we need to rethink how we design and build our buildings and how we demolish them. many pre-engineered industrial buildings are dismantled for re-erection at different sites because of the easy nature of the process. The MEC in Ottawa (Fig. the Chapiteau des arts (LEED® silver). Brundtland. 1997. the accuracy with which they are manufactured.Mark Gorgolewski 495 Fig. G. Recent concerns about the huge amounts of resources consumed and waste generated by the construction industry have led to various initiatives to reduce this waste and to increase recycling. The challenge of sustainable production and consumption patterns. which often make their assembly and disassembly difficult to achieve. Conclusions Buildings are huge reservoirs of energy and materials. Brown. The University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Student Centre (Fig. L. Washington. in Montréal. However. © 2006 NRC Canada . 19–20 January 1994. refabricated. and used in the new building to help address the students’ desire for a “green building”. Building Kyoto. designed to achieve LEED® silver. The design of many temporary steel structures and portable buildings indicates that suitable technologies are available for building designers to use to integrate steel components into buildings that can be readily disassembled. American Institute of Architects. Oslo. engineered components that are used for various functions in buildings.C. including the substructure. Most waste. and the MEC in Winnipeg (a LEED® gold project) features cast iron columns from an older structure. Some of these projects are LEED® rated. which deal with waste once it has arisen. features about 18 t of reclaimed steel that was extracted from the demolition of the Royal Ontario Museum. Washington. As we move toward industrial ecology principles of closed-loop cyclical systems. Similarly. rather than minimizing its effects once it has arisen. and infill walls. Quebec. there are also many projects that despite the problems outlined above use reclaimed components. More efficient extraction of steel during demolition would make this practice more widespread. 2) features steel structural components from an older structure on the site. Such a change in design strategy can then reshape the entire process of procuring our buildings. They are combined in various increasingly complex ways. however. 3). cladding.C. they need to design out waste. Because of the engineered nature of steel components. The Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has demonstrated the practicality of reusing components in several of its retail stores across Canada. The University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Student Centre uses steel from the demolition of the Royal Ontario Museum to help achieve the students’ green aims. and steel reuse can earn LEED® points. Environmental resource guide. 3. 1994. systems can be readily developed that will permit disassembly so that the components can be reused in the future. uses reclaimed steel components. Address delivered at the Soria Moria Symposium on Sustainable Consumption. and their magnetic characteristics. including structural steel components. In addition. design stage. P. However. the superstructure. in the structures of new buildings. 1990. Busby. Steel is a material used in manufactured.

1992. Tampa. Gainesville. A best practice guide to solid waste reduction. Deconstruction: an environmental response for construction sustainability. Fla. M. Scientific American. 46(1): 27–29. Environment Canada. Our common future. Moving forward on climate change [online]. UK. UK. Available from www. Minimising construction waste.gc. N. Fletcher.E. Vol.asp [accessed 20 April 2006]. M. Steel Construction Institute. 6–9 November 1994. and Braungart. J. UK. Taggart. Wyatt. 1994. Construction Industry Research and Information Association.J.ca/english/ccplan. Ascot. Vol. Salvaged materials in new buildings. D. CIRIA.chadwyck. Kibert. Ottawa. SCI.. In Proceedings of the CIB TG39 Con- Can. The inherent recycled content of today's steel [online]. O. Ont. Canadian Construction Association. Canadian Architect. S.recycle-steel. WCED (World Commission on Environment and Development). Ottawa. J. Civ. Evelyn.A. R. UK. 1989. R. UK. Government of Canada. University of Florida. 2001. 1998. and Gallopoulos.0. Building Research Establishment. Eng. Watford. and Gilleard. Frosch. Publication SP 116. Watford. In Sustainable Construction. UK. 2004. 189(3): 152. 33. December 1998. New York. 2000. Environmental and economic assessment of a steel frame building using recycled and reused materials.496 CaGBC. Proceedings of the 1st International Conference of CIB TG16. McDonough. Publication P305. Steel Recycling Institute. N.. Available from http://eebo.L.. Fla. Ont. Standard Construction Document CCA 81. Construction Industry Research and Information Association. 1987. W.org [accessed on 20 April 2006]. London. Ottawa. LEED® Green Building Rating System for new buildings and major renovations: LEED Canada-NC® version 1. Fumifugium or the inconvenience of the air and smoke or London dissipated. J. Center for Construction and Environment.. 1661. A: Summary. 18 May 2000. © 2006 NRC Canada . Notes of Construction Industry Environmental Forum. SRI.climatechange. Oxford. 46(1): 32–33. Canadian Architect.. Catalli. CIRIA..Y. Environmental impact of building materials.. Ont. Designing for disassembly. 2004. 2001. Edited by C. CCA. J. and Plank. 2001.com/home [accessed 20 April 2006]. and Williams. Early English Books Online. Designing for future reuse and recycling. London. Strategies for manufacturing. Available from http://www. North Point Press. Canadian Green Building Council. 2002. Cradle to cradle— remaking the way we make things. 2005. Popovic. Oxford University Press. 2000. 2006 ference on Deconstruction – Closing the Loop. V.

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