Most people have seen videos or live demonstrations of buildings being demolished via wrecking balls or implosion. Straight demolition can happen quickly and efficiently. However, most if not all of the old building materials are taken directly to a landfill. An alternative is building recycling.
Building recycling refers to the dismantlement of a building or home. But, instead of taking the materials to a landfill, items are systematically removed and inventoried. These recycled building materials are then sold to other builders or stored for future use. It is important to mention that the building materials must be kept dry during this phase unless they are for exterior use.
Recycling a building is usually separated into two distinct categories. These include separating the materials into structural and non-structural. The first group, non-structural, consists of doors, windows, cabinets, appliances, and flooring. These items are removed first.
The second category, structural, consists of lumber, concrete, and exterior coverings such as stone, brick, and siding. Once the non-structural materials have been removed, the building is dismantled from the roof down in an effort to preserve as many of the structural components as possible.
A third category worth noting includes piping, duct work, and wiring. Though technically non-structural in nature, removing these materials often disrupts some of the structural components of a building. They are often removed during the structural deconstruction phase.
Building recycling involves a systematic approach to demolition. It also makes use of old materials which, in turn, reduces the energy consumption and emissions produced from manufacturing. Another great benefit is the reduction of materials sent to landfills. Recycling homes and buildings is a great way to contribute to the sustainability of our planet.