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News 24 feb 2022

How material passports can aid building component recycling

Future of Net Zero | How material passports can aid building component recycling

The use of ‘preloved’ components enables highway authorities, amongst others, to construct more for their money at a much reduced carbon count. Digital marketplaces provide the supply. However, is the construction offered suitable? Where are the parts located? What is their size? Who designed and made them? What maintenance have they received over the years and what is their condition?

This is where the material passport comes in. It provides the necessary information to determine whether the construction is usable or whether the design of the new structure should be adjusted to suit.

According to UK architect Duncan Baker-Brown (founder of BakerBrown), it is essential that buildings are designed in such a way that they can eventually be dismantled or reconstructed and their components reused: ‘Buildings should be seen as repositories of materials stored for use in the future.’ Sustainability consultancy

Metabolic underlines this, citing the material passport as an essential tool: ‘If the goal is to reduce environmental impact via lower energy use and carbon emissions, then we need to reuse materials and do this effectively. To know they are of high value and that their use is worthwhile, we need material passports. It’s as simple as that.’

Read more about it in this article on the New Civil Engineer website.

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