Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Sustainability for the Future - Design for Deconstruction

The Canadian Standards Association has recently published CSA Z783-12 Deconstruction of Buildings and Their Related Parts. Included in this standard are the minimum requirements for processes and procedures connected with the deconstruction of buildings. It is intended for use by contractors, consultants, designers, building owners, regulators and value chain organizations involved in the deconstruction of a building that is at the end of its life or when it is undergoing renovations or alternations.

In the introduction to the section on design it states “To simplify the deconstruction process, it is possible to incorporate features during the design and construction phase. CSA Z782 is a voluntary guidance document that provides a framework for reducing building construction waste during the design phase.” Of primary interest under section C, Building envelope, is C.5.5.3 note 1 identifying Steel Building Systems (SBS) as being ideally suited for deconstruction and reuse.

Deconstruction and reuse are not uncommon and have been conducted with various levels of success for decades. Certain features make SBS particularly suitable. Connections are bolted instead of field welded, the parts can
stand up to being re-handled without damage, panels that are not caulked can be reused, and big spans mean easy adaptation for other uses. A reusable building adds value to the owner and improved return on the investment.

The responsibilities of the parties involved are well defined in Section 6, Project management and oversight, of CSA Z783-12. The primary roles are conducted by the owner (or owner’s representative), and the contractor.

In the introduction to the section on deconstruction, the reuse of the building should be considered as the first option. For new construction SBS is an excellent choice. Not only have SBS buildings been recognized as being ideally suited for deconstruction, with proper insight and guidance at the front end, SBS can make the process more seamless and transparent.

Click on our Fact Sheet 40: Design for Deconstruction of a Steel Building System below for a checklist of items to consider when you are designing for deconstruction.


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