Growing up 5 minutes away from the largest woodland in Scotland, Galloway Forest Park, I have always appreciated the natural environment along with the enriched resources that Scotland has – which should be utilised more in the construction industry. I have taken an interest in sustainable methods of construction to help minimise waste materials within the industry and to reduce carbon emissions.
To minimise waste in construction, high consideration for materiality afterlife and recyclability is required to make a difference within the industry. Maximising the use of locally sources materiality is key to reducing carbon emissions. A key interest of mine is the implementation of using Scottish Home-grown timber into construction projects, using BE-ST Innovation Centre as a key example for this change.
I enjoy designing with sustainable factors at the forefront, in addition to how this method of design drives layout, circulation and inhibition routes within the structure itself.
Design for Disassembly
The present approach to the removal of materials features a linear economy model referred to as “Take-make-use-dispose”. Excessive overconsumption and limited resources has rendered this model unsustainable. The circular economy of materials involves the characteristics of products and they should be designed with a vision of: higher efficiency; improved durability and easier means of repair and disassembly.
Methods for improving the material flows and the circulatory system of buildings are urgently required to reduce waste production in the construction industry and to design more consciously with the environment as the focus. Attention should be concentrated on adapting ways in which people view design from a sustainable perspective. The process of designing for disassembly is a key method that uses design as a tool for a high material reuse and adaptation.
Ensuring the extended life cycle of materials and circular economy of buildings needs the consideration of the disassembly of a structure into its retrospective components. The concept of DfD (Design for Disassembly), has been around for some time and has been shown to help minimise wasteful materials during construction and allows for reuse and relocation.
A Building for Disassembly : The Home-grown Library
In times of the climate crisis, change on a macro scale is what needs to be addressed to make a more significant change to the world.
In terms of the built environment, which is a prominent contributor to the world’s carbon emissions and unnecessary wastage, there is an urgent need for resource-efficient structures. Ideally, less energy should be utilised for construction and highly recyclable materials ought to be present in many aspects of a building. The life cycle of a building should be assessed during the early stages of construction in order to contribute more successfully to its circular economy.
A key factor ensuring the extended life cycle of materials, is to consider the disassembly of a structure into its retrospective components. The concept of DfD (Design for Disassembly), has been around for some time and has been shown to help minimise wasteful materials during construction.
The DfD process helps to reduce the energy usage of buildings. 20% of the full life cycle energy of a building comes from the materials and construction. With DfD featured early in the design stages, this process can be vital for achieving improved carbon emission figures, which would help to alleviate the speed of climate change.
This project has 2 key drivers, 1 is having the ability to be disassembled and 2 makes use of the abundance of locally sourced timber that Scotland has to offer. The UK is currently the 2nd largest importer of timber in the world for construction use, all the timber from Scotland is used for mainly non-structural applications.
Initiatives are already in place to encourage home-grown Scottish timber use and this project makes use of the large Sitka Spruce population around the country.
This high rise timber library acts as a landmark in Pollokshields and a free/heated space for the residents, especially during this time with the cost of living crisis. The building itself showcases its structure, which is able to be taken apart and hosts a variety of spaces, for reading, learning and exhibiting sustainable construction – one of its key spaces. The building is topped with a double height library space which has 360 degree views of the city. The library acts as a building of importance at the top of Maxwell square – a place that seems unloved and underutilised.
A Process of Disassembly
1. Creating a structural core from fire resistant CLT components with the de-constructable glulam frame assembled around.
2. Rest of the timber frame assembled with the SIP floor panels as each floor gets constructed.
3. Demountable wall SIP’s with the designated external cladding is attached to the frame, holding no structural significance of its own, simply for creating the building’s thermal envelope.
4. SIP wall and roof panels in place with the option for interchangeable surfaces
5. Internal partition walls in place with service systems threaded through building structure. Industrial look for light finishes
6. Building Inhabitation of the variety of spaces.
7. Disassembly upon requirement, demountable SIP panels then Timber Glulam frame then CLT core structure.
8. Material reuse and relocation, with the incorporation of a materials passport, into a range of other projects or rebuilt again to the same library in a new location.