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Sustainability and Building. Including Design for Reuse is a key element of sustainable buildings

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

It’s time for building design to look beyond the present and consider how materials and components of a building can be reused or recycled to make other buildings..

Designing and constructing durable and resilient building that are worth more than the sum of their present-day parts is a theme we are seeing more of today, and for good reason: Countries around the world are looking for the most effective ways to meet climate goals while also accomplishing social and economic ones, including affordable housing, job creation and improved quality of life.

Built to last, and last

While there is no single definition of a sustainable building or system, the following are some of the most important credentials of sustainable architecture:

• Designed to operate with very low energy demand

• Designed for fire resilience and reusability

• Consideration of the resources required for the lifetime of the building

Twenty five percent of the world’s water and 40 percent of its resources are used by buildings, while creating one-third of all waste and 40 percent of global carbon emissions. As greater energy efficiency and use of low-carbon energy help reduce energy emissions, the CO2 ‘embodied’ in buildings will become ever more important and needs to be addressed as we move towards nearly-zero-energy buildings.

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