End-of-life management as a design tool: the case of a dry wood envelope
From Firenze University Press Journal: TECHNE
Elisabetta Palumbo, Institute of Sustainability in Civil Engineering, RWTH Aachen University
Francesca Camerin, Dipartimento Culture del progetto, Università Iuav di Venezia
Chiara Panozzo, Dipartimento Culture del progetto, Università Iuav di Venezia
Massimo Rossetti, Dipartimento Culture del progetto, Università Iuav di Venezia
The sustainability of natural resources and taking urgent action to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse by 2030 is one of the 17 Sustain-able Development Goals (SDGs) pro-posed by the UN 2030 Agenda (2019). This SDG goal (12) is called out in two of the eight key areas defined in the Green Deal roadmap launched by the European Commission in 2019: the transition to a clean and circular economy and the implementation of energy- and resource-efficient buildings. Both issues are integrally linked to the construction sector and the built environment in general. As is now well known, the construction sector in Europe is responsible for one-third of all waste generated and consumes between 30 and 50% of all resources (Božiček et al., 2021). A recent paper published by Finch et al. (2021), dealing with the survey of studies on the integration of circularity principles in buildings, notes that the trend is to focus on identifying end-of-life post-construction impacts rather than examining design practices and new “circular” ways of build-ing that address the problem early in the project. The study also highlights that typically in practice, buildings are not designed to be reused, but rather the approach taken is to manage their post-life through material selection and final treatment.To confirm this, several literature studies highlight the relevant role that the “post-use” management of demolished materials has concerning the totality of impacts generated in the life cycle of a building (Thormark, 2006; Piccardo et al., 2019; Akhimien et al., 2020).
What results from these investigations is the need for a reinterpretation and redefinition of current design approaches, basing it more on both the integration of strategies related to the principles of circularity in construction (such as reuse, disassembly and optimisation of raw materials), and on the adoption a paradigm shift that sees the design of end-of-life scenarios of dry solutions and the assessment of their environ-mental profile on an LCA basis as de-sign tools to support the transition to circular technological solutions.This study analyses the greenhouse gas impact (GWP) and non-renewable energy resource use (MJ) indicators of drywall solutions, designed to be disassembled and reused according to the Design for Disassembly approach.The work focuses on the design of a temporary timber-framed housing unit, defining a balance between the environmental impacts embedded in the materials used and the benefits re-lated to the adoption of dry construction techniques. The methodological approach pursued is based on the application of the Life Cycle Assessment methodology (ISO 14040–14044), adopting the Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) provided by the manufacturers as a data source.
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