Façade design for the circular economy

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Shifting current thinking and design and fabrication practice to improve resource efficiency will be central to delivering a circular economy. The built environment has an important role to play; and building façades represent an interesting opportunity within this. Often designed for only 20 to 30 years, they typically reach obsolescence well before the building is demolished and replaced. Unfortunately at the current time they are not designed with end of life in mind.

Kristian Steele in our Advanced Technology and Research group saw the need for this project and then put together the team of partners from across the value chain to study the constraints and opportunities that might exist for creating closed loop façade systems.

Key features

  • Case study: Autopsy – Façade teardown at Frener & Reifer
  • Reuse of componenets and recycling of materials
  • Factors affecting façade reuse or recycling
  • Tracking façade material at end of life
  • Visit to recycling sites: demolition, concrete, metal and glass
  • Open innovation workshop ‘Whitewater event’ including questions and ideas on: performance and architectural objectives; support of business and commercial models; fabricating strategies; and opportunities/constraints in the supply chain
  • Consideration for next steps

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