Reuse recycling of building components

  • Hi,

    We are doing an embodied carbon analysis for a project focused on reusing and recycling existing building materials. Part of the existing building is to be demolished and we aim to reuse the existing materials in the new proposed building on the same site. The potential materials for reuse include bricks and landscape boulders etc. The potential recycling options for existing materials include recycling steel, aluminum, glass etc. at the end of life.

    We would like to confirm our approach for the embodied carbon analysis is correct:

    1. The reuse of material is relevant to the LCA of the new proposed building. We assume the reused materials (e.g. bricks) are stockpiled on site after demolition and to be reused for the new building. Does this primarily save the embodied carbon in stages A1-A4 compared to using new materials for the new building?

    2. The recycling of material is relevant to the LCA of old buildings and contributes to Stage D (closed loop/open loop recycling) for the end of life of materials. What is the correct approach to customize the recycling method and rate for a specific material? For example, 90% of glass to be recycled.

    Hi Zoe,
    Your questions have been addressed through the support ticket. However, I thought it would be helpful to post my answer here.
    1/ From my understanding, the approach that you are taking is appropriate since you would still need to account for module A5 (reused materials (e.g. bricks) are stockpiled and will be reconstructed) in the LCA of the new proposed building. You may also find the modelling method in this support post useful.

    2/ I think you are right that the recycling of material is relevant to the LCA of old buildings. You can find the default recycling method and rate for each type of material under End of Life Disposal / Recovery Methods of “Edit Material” tab. We recently released this multi-disposal methods feature that gives eTool users the ability to model a wide variety of disposal/End-of-Life scenarios. A new support post about this feature will be soon published so watch this space.

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