This graphic is based on one found in the book “How Buildings Learn” by Stewart Brand. He got it from Frank Duffy, past president of the Royal Institute of British Architects. A building is built to last. However a building is only as great as its interior allows. That’s where the lifecycle is determined. Site: legally defined geographical setting Structure: foundation and load-bearing Skin: exterior surfaces may change with new technology Services: wiring, plumbing, HVAC, elevators Space Plan: interior walls, ceilings, doors, floors Stuff: furniture, chairs, cabling, phones, etc. “ We shape our buildings. Thereafter they shape us.” - Winston Churchill We build building interiors using the same methodology that is applied to the exterior – fixed in place. Yet this is the area that needs to be the most flexible.
Linear Schedule: Every trade must wait in line for the trade ahead to finish. Any delay creates a domino effect. Inflexible Material Supply : You must order in bulk and well in advance of the job. If there are changes the price is higher and the money you use is generally at a higher interest rate from a line-of-credit. Inconsistent Availability of Labor : At any one time sub-trades may be available or not. If there are delays you may lose that trade to another job. Pollution of Environment : More trades on site and a longer schedule means more vehicles traveling to the job site for more days. Plus all the raw materials are bought to include oversights so if all goes well, 10% of all brand new raw materials will go to the dumpster. Many Specialized Trades Required : Because every material is completely built from scratch you need more specialized, and expensive trades to construct the space Change Requires Demolition : Once something is in place it must be violently knocked down and thrown away, re-purchased and re-constructed.
During construction and post-move-in: A conventionally constructed building interior is the reason for all these statistics. (There is a bibliography at the end of the presentation) Initial construction creates 3.89 pounds of material waste on initial construction. If you are demoing a space, the EPA has done studies that show that 155 pounds of material waste are created per square foot of real estate.
In the news, we always hear about the CO2 emissions generated by the vehicles we drive and by industry. The buildings we work and live in never enter into the discussion. The building tally combines the annual energy required to operate residential, commercial, and industrial buildings along with the embodied energy of industry-produced building materials like carpet, tile, glass, and concrete exposes buildings as the largest energy consuming and greenhouse gas emitting sector.
LEED is very concerned about materials and recycling, but not as focused on the reduction of real estate and recycling waste rather than not creating waste at all. LEED focuses on materials not the actual behaviors and ongoing sustainability of those materials.
if you are truly concerned about design, business success and particularly…the environment, you should never consider fixed-in-place studs and drywall.
This is based on a study done at Cornell University. It looked at how much drywall gets wasted in initial construction…not demolition or renovation.
Brand new drywall, never installed is cut off to fit the space and thrown out: One pound per every square foot. That is just for initial construction. Ask the question…where is the closest drywall recycling facility in your market?
Drywall exposed to water in a landfill emits deadly hydrogen Sulfide gas. Several landfills will not accept drywall. Communities in the U.S. have gone to court to get drywall removed from their local landfills due to a noticeable health deterioration in the community.
Recycling waste on the construction site has its own problems: Manpower to sort and police the bins. Depending on the value of the waste, you may have to pay a recycling fee. Trucks must now take the debris to the recycling facilities – wherever they may be located. The load may be rejected if it is contaminated. The recycling facility will use energy and emit greenhouse gasses to create something new out of the waste.
Let’s look at the impact on just trip mileage on a conventionally built project versus a modular solution being used. (The numbers above are miles back and forth to a job site). What does a 45.47% reduction actual translate to?
This is what we have NOT put into our environment. 19.5 gallons of gas per barrel of oil. ANWR at its peak will produce 876,000 per day with a total of 5.7 million barrels. Representing 0.08% of the world oil production = 3% of US consumption Prudhoe Bay, the most important oil field in the US at its peak produced 2 million barrels per day. It is now producing just over 950,000. The U.S. uses 3700 gallons of gas per second.
“ Good design is clear thinking made visible.” - Edward R. Tufte, Yale U. Best $ spent for lasting value and sustainability of your workspace
Modular Int Construction And The Environment V1 0
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