Green architecture and design need to take the entire lifecycle of a structure into account, from energy-efficient engineering to materials planning and acquisition to construction… pretty basic, right? Often overlooked by architects, designers and contractors is a building’s end-of-life. While it’s tempting to think of the space you’ve labored to create as lasting forever, the reality is everything comes to an end. And, with ever-changing work and use requirements, renovation is never far off.
The cost of demolition is typically about half the cost of deconstruction. Today’s practices usually include some level of deconstruction of valuable materials that are worth more than the cost to salvage them, and of course LEED certification prefers deconstruction to demolition. In other words, “greener” deconstruction practices are most likely to be used when “greener” profits result.
BIM software like Revit is not only revolutionizing the architectural process, it is influencing demolition and deconstruction as well. In the last few years, engineers have begun exploring how BIM can help them assess the economic and environmental advantages of deconstruction vs. demolition, and BIM adoption among engineers is steadily increasing. In the last few years, engineers have begun exploring how BIM can help them assess the economic and environmental advantages of deconstruction vs. demolition, and BIM adoption among engineers is steadily increasing.
As we design, we too can use BIM to explore a building’s entire lifecycle, from design to construction to remodeling to deconstruction. By considering the best deconstruction strategy in the design phase, using state-of-the-art BIM software, we can significantly improve the reusability of materials – and the sustainability of the construction industry itself.