Recycled Cities can be the New Green Building Alternative

BedZED (Beddington Zero Energy Development), the UK's largest and first carbon-neutral eco-community: the distinctive roofscape with solar panels and passive ventilation chimneys
BedZED (Beddington Zero Energy Development), the UK’s largest and first carbon-neutral eco-community: the distinctive roofscape with solar panels and passive ventilation chimneys

The threat of global warming is very real, and scientists are providing the world with fresh information every other day to reiterate this fact. Eminent personalities like Al Gore had help propel the need for sustainable living to the forefront, garnering interest for the subject from all quarters. Substantial study on green house gas emissions and their harmful interaction with the Ozone layer have helped people from various walks of life improvise their fields to be more environment-friendly.

Green living is increasingly being provided as a lifestyle option than as a luxury. Green architectural designs have been in the market for quite a while now, capitalizing on natural resources to minimize the use of electronics. For example, glass for windows and glass walls were designed such that sunlight streams into a room, but the amount of heat gaining access is minimized. A room is thus fully illuminated, and the taxing heat of a scorching sun is kept at bay.

Similarly, cross ventilation systems were fitted into the designs for green houses to allow breeze and natural air paths to ventilate a home. This substantially reduced power consumption on appliances like fans and air conditioners, apart from bringing to the table the rejuvenating effects of natural air.

Various modes of green living came to be accepted. Plants were grown indoors to serve simultaneously as green efforts and decorative artifacts. Certain types of plants decorated the home and gave it a comfortable ambience, all the while recycling the air in the house.

With technological advancements and increase in understanding of nature and man’s activities, green living took on different meanings. Consumers contributed in reigning in the amount of green house gases being added to the atmosphere by choosing LED lights over florescent bulbs, and taking other green decisions. At a macro level, architects began cracking the shell of industrial green house emissions.

Recycled buildings are relatively new concept that has been hailed as saviors with the potential of considerably boosting the capacity of green living. Recycled buildings are those that are predominantly made of materials sourced from junk / rubbish. Recycled buildings are created after scavenging the neighboring areas for material that can be recycled to be a part of the construction process so as to save the energy spent on transportation and in the production of fresh material.

Residential complexes too have been built in such a manner.  Slightly lower forms of recycled buildings are those that sources part of their raw materials like this. Window frames, doors, left-over paint and a hoard of other raw materials are gathered from surrounding regions and are reused by an architect. In this process, the purpose of a material is assessed more than its origin.

Reusing materials caught the interest of architects and artists. Recycled aeroplane chairs were collected and used as seats for film theatres. When a building is bulldozed, all window frames, doors and every part of a house that can be reused or remodeled are removed before the building is razed to the ground.

Tukwila, Washington, is home to one of the best examples of recycled buildings. Starbucks invested in this concept and created a retail outlet in Tukwila entirely from recycled shipping containers. These shipping containers formed the space in which the store was set up, and also served as the roof over the store and outdoor space for customers.

Yet another building in Sweden has been noted to have been constructed entirely out of reclaimed window frames and cinder blocks. The frames were used not only as window frames in this new construction, but also as the frames that held racks and selves in the house. This allows abundant availability of sunlight during day hours, and the simplistic interior comprising mainly of window frames sets the ambience for a rustic getaway.

Recycled buildings come is all shapes in sizes. A work shop in North Carolina saw the creation of living quarters made from huge sign boards of an internal brand, coupled with ironing boards and window screens. Designed internally too from materials salvaged from the neighborhood in which the workshop was held.

A visitor in South Korea would be astounded by a multi-colored building that is simply impossible to ignore, even if you have a cloudy vision or are partially blind. The building owes is lively colors and look to an artist who used recycled / thrown away doors to create the design on the outer wall of the building.

Resources for recycled buildings can even come in the form of vehicle tires. The rubber can be used in a multitude of ways. A small structure resembling a tent was constructed by gathering scrap metal from surrounding areas and then clothing the scrap metal exoskeleton in rubber. This structure served as a sturdy storage space.

Victor Moore demonstrated the green benefits (green meaning both nature and money in this case) of recycled buildings by structuring a house that mimics a castle entirely out of scrap material. The material cost only $500, and the house was fit to live in. Moore’s assemblage thesis is among the most important literature in the green industry.

Author Bio: Peter Smith owns Real Estate Company and he also writes for his company’s website. His website publishes reviews on Real Estate, Future Estate, Green Living, etc.

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