Concrete as Palimpsest

The Value in the Deconstruction and Reuse of Structural Concrete

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This paper concerns the deconstruction of buildings as an alternative for demolition. Deconstruction has environmental, social and economic benefits since it allows the reuse of existing materials. Reuse within the construction industry has the potential to reduce waste streams while decreasing the demand for excavation of natural resources. The paper proposes a system for reusing in-situ concrete in new construction. For that, it provides a first exploration of the various aspects pertaining to such a system. As the preliminary findings show that the phase of cutting is technically viable, an estimation of possible energy saving is made. The analysis compares energy consumption of cutting methods for reuse in comparison with common recycling methods. This estimation tests whether the proposed method is favorable in terms of energy. The conclusion is that further research and testing are required in order to determine the feasibility of the system as a whole and the conditions and effects if coming into practice. Furthermore, a standard method for reuse must be developed in order to introduce the system to the market.

Keywords: deconstruction, concrete deconstruction, concrete reuse, concrete recycling