A Roadmap to the Building Materials Reuse Industry of the 21st Century
2015-2016 PARTNER: COOK COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
The building industry in the United States is responsible for an estimated 350 million tons of construction debris flowing into landfills per year. Beyond the environmental implications of this waste stream, the lost economic benefit is staggering.
Archeworks is leading a multi-year initiative to expand the building material reuse marketplace. Through a close collaboration with the Cook County Department of Environmental Control, the Building Material Reuse Association, the ReBuilding Exchange, and leading design firms, this intensive research and design project explores the barriers and opportunities for reuse that exist in current design culture and public policy, and proposes expanding the reuse economy by re-envisioning architectural practice and the built environment.
Students enrolled in the Postgraduate Certificate in Public Interest Design program developed a multifaceted approach to this project, engaging hundreds of local and international architects, strategists, stakeholders, contractors and reuse experts in the process. They conducted research and systems analysis, developed design concepts and tested applications to foster building material reuse within our region and beyond. Proposals include:
THE HOME DEPOT REUSE INITIATIVE
A program that allows local material reuse organizations to partner with large retail home improvement stores such as Home Depot to supply reused products and building materials, capitalizing on the retailer’s existing infrastructure and loyal consumer base.
An online platform that forecasts the availability of reused materials resulting from commercial office space demolitions and renovations and organizes the information by industry parameters and needs of specifiers, so that specifying reused materials is as convenient and easy as specifying virgin materials.
DECONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE NETWORK
A multi-platform that serves as a call to action for designers, construction professionals, public stakeholders, and future home owners to consider deconstruction and material reuse practices.
A tactical urbanism and guerrilla marketing project that juxtapositions unique, reclaimed building materials against mass-produced consumer goods in popular shopping destinations, confronting customers’ perception of value in the retail environment and educating about the reuse market.
COLLECTIONS IN TRANSIT
An interactive installation exploring the meaning of materials in space and the decision-making process while fostering a dialogue about issues of waste.
COLLABORATION WITH PORT URBANISM
Through research, data visualization, and material flow mapping, PORT Urbanism’s study presents the past, present and future conditions surrounding the deconstruction of a typical South Suburban Cook County single family home in the town of Blue Island.
“Only through design integration, public policy, – and most importantly – a change in culture, can the reuse market experience growth, and longevity.” – Andrew Moddrell, Partner, PORT Urbanism
“We look forward to the next stages of the study and hope to glean from it additional input on strategies for implementation of the ordinance and how its impact correlates with real-time economic development – this type of data can be a game changer for municipalities.” – Sean Terry, Planning and Community Development Project Manager, Town of Blue Island.