19 January 2009

Building the eco friendly way - Live sustainable house case study begins

Since we blogged a little while ago about our new sustainable house project in Collaroy Sydney, we have had a number of people ask us for more information about what sort of green initiatives we will use and how are we going to go about it.

So we had a bit of a think about the best way to help give people information and came to the conclusion that we would use the house as a live sustainable building case study to demonstrate to people how to go about building an eco-friendly, sustainable house.

So where do we begin?.....we have given you a bit of an outline about the project in an earlier blog post and more details and information will come out as the build progresses.

The new house is being built on a site currently occupied by an existing house, see below. The house was unusable due to it's location on the site and overall condition, so it had to go. So how does one get rid of an old, unwanted house in the most eco-friendly way?

YOU RECYCLE IT!!!! So that is what we intend to do. Having made a thorough assessment of what materials can be salvaged from the existing house we have come to the following conclusions:
  • The bricks and concrete can be sent to a crushing plant to be recycled as road base for road and pavement construction
  • The timber wall, roof and floor framing can be sent to a second hand building materials yard for future re-sale
  • The windows can be sent to a second hand building materials yard for future re-sale
  • The bathroom and kitchen fixtures and fittings can be sent to a second hand building materials yard for future re-sale
It looks like the only materials that we will need to send to landfill will be those that have to be by law, such as the asbestos roof sheeting, and those for which there is no industry re-sale or recycling system in place, such as used plasterboard wall and ceiling lining.

Recycling the house will definitely be a labour intensive exercise. This is probably the reason why the majority of houses that are demolished are knocked flat by a large excavator and sent straight to landfill, it is quick and easy.

So taking the most sustainable approach to the demolition of the existing house will have an effect on the timeline for the project, but in our opinion if we can actually manage to recycle the materials mentioned above , then it will have been worth it.
The less building waste that goes to landfill, the better.

Demolition starts in a few days, sign up for regular updates and to follow how things progress...


BofMouais said...

Kudos on recycling the house!

In my area, the organization Habitat for Humanity has an agreement with the city where they go in and salvage anything usable before the city demolishes vacant/abandoned homes. It's a really great partnership where everyone benefits. Habitat then resells the items to raise funds for the new homes they build (which go in lots once belonging to abandoned homes).

My one wish is that Habitat would build more eco-advanced houses. They are eco-friendly, certainly, but more could be done with all the new advances in green tech that have been made.

Anyway, I enjoyed your blog. Thanks!

amadi_construction said...

Great article
Before the industrial revolution house building involved the consumption of little or no fossil fuel. Translated into modern terms, old houses have been the absolute ultimate in sustainable dwellings

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