In the context of the physical building, deconstruction is the selective dismantlement of building components, specifically for re-use, repurposing, recycling, and waste management. It differs from demolition where a site is cleared of its building by the most expedient means. Building deconstruction Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.
Deconstruction has also been defined as “construction in reverse”. The process of dismantling structures is an ancient activity that has been revived by the growing field of sustainable, green method of building in Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.
Buildings, like everything, have a life-cycle. Deconstruction focuses on giving the materials within a building a new life once the building as a whole can no longer continue.
When buildings reach the end of their useful life, they are typically demolished in the area of Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida and hauled to landfills. Building implosions or ‘wrecking-ball’ style demolitions are relatively inexpensive and offer a quick method of clearing sites for new structures. On the other hand, these methods create substantial amounts of waste in Miami Florida. Components within old buildings may still be valuable, sometimes more valuable than at the time the building was constructed. Deconstruction is a method of harvesting what is commonly considered “waste” and reclaiming it into useful building material.
Deconstruction in Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida is the reverse of construction, removing building parts in the reverse order to construction. Deconstruction techniques remove building components piece by piece, rather than damaging building parts by destructive methods.
Start with the ‘soft strip’ of interior fittings, doors and linings then remove the roofing, cladding, windows and finally framing and foundations. Multi-storey buildings are typically deconstructed floor by floor, beginning with the roof and upper floor:
Prepare the site and mark out waste storage areas before dismantling begins to make the process smoother and help reduce damage to salvaged materials. Increased space for storage of materials is likely to be needed for deconstruction versus demolition.
Undertake the soft strip manually, with hand tools to minimize damage caused by large machinery. Building deconstruction Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.
During the hard strip, the dismantling of major components may be done in stages. Large scale removal of building parts such as flooring or roofing may be done initially, with excavators or cranes, followed by more detailed separation of components and contamination by hand (on-site or off-site). Preparation of materials may be required prior to removal, such as soaking timber floors and fittings with water to avoid splitting.
Deconstruction is commonly separated into two categories; structural and non-structural. Non-structural deconstruction, also known as “soft-stripping”, consists of reclaiming non-structural components, appliances, doors, windows, and finish materials. The reuse of these types of materials is commonplace and considered to be a mature market in many locales. Building deconstruction Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.
Structural deconstruction involves dismantling the structural components of a building. Traditionally this had only been performed to reclaim expensive or rare materials such as used brick, dimension stone, and extinct wood. In antiquity, it was common to raze stone buildings and reuse the stone; it was also common to steal stones from a building that was not being totally demolished: this is the literal meaning of the word dilapidated. Used brick and dimension limestone, in particular, have a long tradition of reuse due to their durability and color changes over time. Recently, the rise of environmental awareness and sustainable building has made a much wider range of materials worthy of structural deconstruction. Low-end, commonplace materials such as dimensional lumber have become part of this newly emerging market.
The United States military has utilized structural deconstruction in many of its bases (including Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida). The construction methods of barracks, among other base structures, are usually relatively simple. They typically contained large amounts of lumber and used minimal adhesives and finish-work. In addition, the buildings are often identical, making the process of deconstructing multiple buildings much easier. Many barracks were built during the era prior to WWII and have aged to the point where they now need to be torn down. Deconstruction was deemed very practical due to the abundance of labor the military has access to and the value of the materials themselves.
Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes often leave a vast amount of usable building materials in their wake. Structures that remain standing are often deconstructed to provide materials for rebuilding the region. Building deconstruction Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.
When choosing to deconstruct a building in the area of Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida there are some important aspects that need to be taken into consideration. Developing a list of local contacts that are able to take used materials is an essential first step.
These might include commercial architectural salvage businesses, reclamation yards, not-for-profit and social enterprise salvage warehouses, and dismantling contractors. Materials that cannot be salvaged may be recycled on-site or off-site, or taken to landfills.
The next step involves identifying which, if any, are hazardous materials. Lead paint and asbestos are two substances in particular that need to be handled extremely cautiously and disposed of properly. Building deconstruction Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.
It is common practice, and common sense, to “soft-strip” the structure first; remove all appliances, windows, doors, and other finishing materials. These will account for a large percentage of the marketable components. After the non-structural deconstruction, structural is the next step. It is best to start at the roof and work down to the foundation. Building deconstruction Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.
Building components that are dismantled will need to be stored in a secure, dry location. This will protect them from water damage and theft. Once separated from the structure, materials can also be cleaned and/or refinished to increase value. Building an inventory list of the materials at hand will help determine where each item will be sent.
Ensure safe and dry storage of salvaged items and careful removal from the site to reduce damage and contamination that could preclude reuse or devalue the materials.
Decide whether you will separate waste types on site for various recycling, reuse and disposal options or haul mixed waste off site for sorting and separation. You could even have a combination of the two:
Key determining factors are:
However, designing for deconstruction (DfD), it is an issue that has been studied in the area of Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida, because the end of the building’s useful life generates a stream of used materials that can be reprocessed for new construction. The selection of materials for reuse or recycling should not start at the end of the building’s life cycle; it should start at the design stage. Architects and engineers should keep the whole life cycle of the building in mind and select construction materials based on their capacity to be reused or recycled after the building has served its purpose. Building deconstruction Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.
An upstream approach to deconstruction can be implemented into buildings during their design process. This is a current trend in sustainable architecture. Often, simple construction methods combined with high-grade, durable materials work best for designing for deconstruction structures. Separating layers of a building’s infrastructure and making them visible can significantly simplify its deconstruction. Making components within systems separable also assists in being able to dismantle materials quickly and efficiently. This can be achieved by using mechanical fasteners such as bolts to connect parts. Allowing physical access to the fasteners is another needed aspect of this design. Also, it is important to use standardized materials and assemble them in a consistent manner throughout the project.
Some conventional building methods and materials are difficult or impossible to deconstruct and should be avoided when designing for deconstruction. The use of nails and adhesives significantly slows down the deconstruction process and has a tendency to ruin otherwise reusable materials. Avoid hazardous materials altogether as they are detrimental to the natural environment and are non-reusable. Using mixed material grades makes the process of identifying pieces for resale difficult.
Deconstruction is important for more than just the end of a building’s life-cycle. Buildings that have been designed in Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida with deconstruction in mind are often easier to maintain and adapt to new uses. Saving the shell of a building or adapting interior spaces to meet new needs ensures that new structures have a small environmental impact. Building deconstruction Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.
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