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Recycling Building Materials — 3 Comments

  1. Such an interesting article. I love that people and companies and pushing for a more sustainable future. The building industry sorely needs an overhaul if we are to combat waste and rising emissions.

    When building my own straw bale home, we sourced second hand windows and doors, which not only reduced waste but also saved us money. However, I wonder if the environmental positives of us reusing second hand windows is outweighed by the expense of heating the home . The windows are single glazed and thinner glass, as was standard when they were made.
    Do you think there is space in this recycling industry to not only reuse older building materials, but to use the discarded products to create more energy efficient materials that will improve the quality of the home and lessen the heating and cooling costs and emissions? Or is this completely unfeasible in terms of cost?

    • These are good questions. There is a delicate balance between reuse and energy efficiency when calculating the ecological footprint of a home. Sometimes the best approach is a hybrid, where items are recycled into situations that don’t compromise efficiency, and newer, more efficient components are used when they will save energy over the life of the house.

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