The treatment and perception of demolition waste illustrates the broader environmental and social issues of the construction and habitation of buildings. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, the construction sector consumes approximately 40% of materials globally, with waste produced from construction accounting for 40% of the total environmental burden. This results in the repurposing of greenfield sites for the use of landfill, exacerbating environmental degradation. Despite this, construction practices within Melbourne tend to rely on the demolition of existing buildings, with the subsequent transportation of this waste to landfill. “Sustainable” rating schemes such as Green Star and council-imposed landfill levies do not offer a genuine requirement and incentive to reexamine the ways in which the industry thinks about demolition waste.
This thesis explores how existing building materials on the site can be reused and repurposed into a new tectonic urban typology.
Through the repurposing of materials from proposed demolition works within the group concept masterplan, this study will examine the application of available materiality within the extents of the site into a new building. This aims to challenge the notions of “new” construction while reducing the environmental burden. The juxtaposition between typical building typologies and the irregularity of repurposed materials confronts and challenges the user to think about their consumption and the ways we build and inhabit our urban environments.