Arup hopes to inspire a shift to a circular economy with recyclable house

Arup have unveiled a Circular Building made of components that are completely non-toxic, mostly natural, recyclable and upcyclable.

This futuristic vision of construction is erected outside the Building Centre as part of the London Design Festival, and is hoping to aid discussion regarding more sustainable approaches to how things are being done within the construction industry.

Construction currently has scarce resources available, and there is a common approach of ‘take-make-dispose’ which results in massive waste. According to Richard Girling, author ofRubbish!, 90 percent of the raw materials used in manufacturing become waste before the product leaves the factory, while 80 percent of products made get thrown away within the first six months of their life. A working circular economy could be the answer to stabilising these issues.

Josef Hargrave, Arup Associate and Global Foresight Manager, said: “We live in the world where we don’t make the best use of the resources that are available to us.”

Therefore the house is made from materials and constructed using methods that allow it to be deconstructed, demounted and sent back to the manufacturing chain.

For their prototype, they chose a steel frame made from offcuts. The outside of the house is covered with wooden planks, and the interior is covered with custom-designed boards made from wheat waste. They fit into each other and hold together by the power of compression.

What could following this lead mean for the future of the global economy? Analysis by McKinsey demonstrates that going circular could add $1 trillion to the global economy by 2025 and create 100,000 new jobs within the next five years.

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2016

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