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design for reuse primer, public architecture, san francisco

Design for Reuse Primer

The non-for-profit, San Francisco-based organization Public Architecture has published a remarkable primer on the re-use of materials in architecture. The best news is: The 170-page publication can be downloaded as PDF for free.

“Building green” is often linked with higher levels of energy efficiency or improved air quality. Even when considered, the sustainable materials market tends to focus on sustainably harvested materials or materials with recycled content. Yet, repurposing materials directly from the waste stream is maybe the ultimate form of resource conservation.

The Design for Reuse Primer documents 15 new buildings from the U.S. and Canada that feature re-used materials – from timber, bricks or metal cladding taken from old buildings to more extravagant examples of re-use like airplane wings turned into bookshelves. The focus of the book is clearly on the processes of design, construction and materials sourcing. Besides photographs and text, each project documentation contains detailed lists of the type and quantity of re-used materials, as well as the sources that they came from, and an account of the “lessons learned”. A “Learn More” section with glossary and links to online resources (including materials suppliers) round off this highly valuable publication.

According to Public Architecture, the Design for Reuse Primer is part of a larger initiative of the organization to bring reuse stories to light. „ By discussing the challenges and demonstrating the benefits of reclaimed materials, we hope to demystify and inspire reuse“, claims the organization.

Download link to the „Design for Reuse Primer“

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