Reclaimed Building Materials: Old Supplies With a New Spin
During a conversation with an elder friend of mine who lives in Alabama, I learned that her cousin built her entire home out of materials she salvaged from old buildings. By collecting and reusing materials, my friend’s cousin had been able to build her home on a very strict budget. Ever the green artist, this thought both intrigued and excited me. Not only is it eco-friendly, but with rent and mortgage costs out of the price range of many families, the thought that it is possible to build a comfortable home from materials that are collected at very low cost was a revelation. Although the use of reclaimed building materials is nothing new, as my friend and many others in rural areas will attest to, this practice is also a popular technique in the green building movement.
Using reclaimed building materials is one of the most sustainable ways to acquire supplies for a home or building. Not only is it conservative on the pocketbook, reusing building materials saves resources, conserves landfill space, and prevents deforestation.
The reuse of building materials depends on a building being deconstructed in a way that maintains the integrity of the supplies. This process is different from demolition in which a site is cleared by any means and as quickly as possible. Deconstruction takes into account a building’s life cycle and aims to give building materials a new life once the life cycle of the structure is complete.
Commonly reused building materials include wood from old buildings, fixtures, sinks, bricks, windows, and cement. Many proponents of the use of reclaimed building materials claim that reusing these supplies adds a sense of history and art to a new structure. It may also provide an opportunity to reuse supplies that were made in an era when standards of craftsmanship were very high. However, construction materials aren’t the only things recycled into homes and structures.
Structures made from reused materials come in an array of beautiful shapes and forms and what they’re made of may surprise you. There are modern homes made from shipping containers, a Buddhist temple in Thailand made by reusing one million beer bottles, aluminum cans upcylced into aluminum siding, and silos made into comfortable prefab homes. All of these structures are expamples of something attractive and functional made from materials that would be labeled garbage under other circumstances.
Old barns and condemned buildings are full of value if they are responsibly deconstructed and reused. Bottles and cans that fill so many trash and recycling bins can become an affordable and beautiful home or greenhouse. Reusing reclaimed building materials is sustainable and artistic, and it allows quality construction supplies to live again.
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Keyword #1: reclaimed building materials
Keyword #2: reusing
LSI keywords: supplies, bricks, green, salvaged, reuse