Architectural dimension of sustainability: Re-establishing the concept of recycling
Building related processes as water pollution, landfill waste, energy use and related emissions of global warming gases, material and land loss, are undisputable proofs of the devastating effects of the construction industry on our environment. Given that only a small percentage of a total building stock is made out of new work, it is not enough to develop strategies and principles for a sustainable design only for the new projects, but for the existing buildings as well. Therefore, it is essential that, through repurposing, we consider what can be done with what we already have if we are to significantly benefit sustainability agenda in the future. This research focuses on the concept of architectural recycling as a method for achieving sustainable architectural design. In the first place, two concepts, two extremes in dealing with existing buildings will be analysed: 1) preservation as radical stasis and 2) destruction as radical change. This analysis will enable the formulation of the concept of architectural recycling as the ‘preservation through change’, viewed as a sustainable response to rapidly changing conditions. The elaboration of the concept of architectural recycling, as a key method for responding to the sustainability agenda, is the focus of this paper.
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