The building industry is plagued with waste – massive builder’s waste.
In the United States alone, one-third of the waste accumulated is construction waste. This statistic indicates the need for reusing building materials and debris. It can go a long way in reducing the implications of this waste on the environment and the humans.
That said, all the builder’s waste is not a waste. And most of it can be utilized for several different purposes. For instance,
- Masonry can be reused in construction or crushing to make road bases
- Doors, windows, and roofing to make other houses
- Fixtures and applications in different locations
- Wood products and lumber can be reused or converted to biomass fuel or mulch
- Metals can be converted into other products
- Paper and cardboards in pulping
- Trees and vegetation for biomass fuel or replanting
- Plastic container/crates, sheets and bags (wherever reusable)
It should be remembered that some types of construction waste can cause health hazards. For instance, lead can contaminate water and turn it poisonous. Plasterboards release hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous gas.
Here are a few techniques that can be utilized in reusing builder’s waste:
1. Build a New Building
An easy and effective method to use construction waste is to use it in building a new building or a new site. In some cases, it happens organically. For instance, walls are not always deconstructed. They are in some cases moved, reconfigured or redecorated. Another excellent example is of lumber. It can be used in wooden constructions can be used as spacers or for fire blocking.
2. Say No to Demolition and Yes To Deconstruction
Disposal of builder’s waste creates pollution. Deconstruction reduces the need to buy for raw materials to construct a new building. It benefits the environment and saves money for other essential things. The process of deconstruction can be used at various levels, and reusable materials can be taken out. It reduces waste disposal. These materials range from foundation to an entire structure or a few systems and assemblies to removing selected items or materials for reuse.
Fortunately, some organizations remove reusable items. They enable this without damaging the structure in social housing projects. Such customers may also receive tax advantages. But if this seems impossible, you can sell off the front yard during the construction project. Materials, including grates, radiators, piping, fittings, and appliances in a working condition are perfect for this. However, it is also essential to know about building with high deconstructability rate. These include:
- Wood framed – Buildings with unique wood frames or with heavy timbers or beams such as American chestnut, Douglas fir, and old-growth Southern yellow pine is constructed in a manner that makes deconstruction easier. These have several reuses in the industry.
- Special Materials and High Resale Value – it includes multi-pane windows, hardwood flooring, architectural moldings, and other electrical/plumbing material fixtures.
- High-quality brick construction having low-quality mortar – it can be broken down quickly and cleaned.
- The building is in good structural form.
3. Reuse Concrete
Several construction projects may leave you with a sizeable chunk of concrete after the demolition of driveways, sideways, foundations and concrete structures. It is good to know that concrete can be reused and in a variety of ways. Use it as aggregate for slope protection, road bases, and earth retention structures. Or make walkways with reclaimed concrete along with gaps for rainwater. Besides, the process opens up avenues for more employment, which wouldn’t have existed otherwise.
Deconstruction reduces construction cost as it is generally crushed near the demolition site. It is also advantageous for the environment. The process is also known for extending the landfill’s life in addition to saving more money. There is no transportation involved as most of the times concrete is recycled close to the construction or demolition site, and disposal is a no-no too.
4. Use Reclaimed Materials
Bricks have a lifespan exceeding 200 years qualifying it as a perfect material for reuse in construction. Pick brick of your choice from the concrete precast, clay bricks, stone blocks, and aerated blocks or other sources.
Reclaimed stonework and brick are used increasingly in the construction industry. Their weathered look makes them favorite of many and cannot be achieved by artificial means. These are usually sourced from demolished institutional buildings. Reclaimed bricks can be used in many different ways.
Reclaimed bricks can be used in remodeling projects, new construction projects, fireplaces, small building projects, boundaries, and walls. These can be used for making patios, landscaping projects, constructing walkways, or create artistic projects.
If you want granite, get it from walls, stairs, foundations, ornaments, and columns. And if your requirement is the marble used in bathrooms and flooring, it is available too. Well recovered marble is a great asset. You only need to know what is available where and the possibilities are endless.
5. Find a Recycling Center
Recycling is a last resort in the management of builder’s waste. So, when reuse is not an option, recycle the construction waste. Your best bet is a local recycling center. Do not devote more time or effort in transporting the waste. It is better to find another solution. However, if a nearby center recycles what you want, ask about other details. To reduce additional trips, you can take the waste to the recycling center and get new building materials while returning. You can hire professionals from builders bins Unanderra for the job if you live around Unanderra for hassle-free recycling.
A large number of construction wastes can be re-purposed and used for construction with recycling. The process, instilling life into so many materials considered waste at a typical construction site.
Reuse enables preventing solid waste to enter the landfill. It helps communities with their wellbeing as the resources reach people who want them from those who wish to discard them. Lower disposal fee is a boon. Lastly, reuse has tax benefits.