Thinking upside down

Published 25/3, 2019 at 11:20

Demolition is a word that doesn’t seem to be liked by many people. Outside the industry, it means ‘to destroy’, and brings things such as rubble, dust and noise to mind: things people don’t want to be associated with.

So, it is more common to hear ‘deconstruction’ nowadays, but that looks like the opposite process to construction. Well, to some extent, it is true: using this word makes us think ‘upside down’, starting at the end of the process.

All these word games are due to our participation in the Design for Deconstruction and Durability of Buildings working group, organised by the European Commission to promote the more efficient use of resources used by new and renovated commercial, residential and public buildings. The key is to stay one step ahead, think about how to reuse the future waste materials, before designing and making decisions concerning construction materials.

That end goal needs a change in the mentality of designers, manufacturers, contractors, authorities, and users to make decisions in construction with a view to the future, not just thinking about the present or the short term. This way, it will be possible to reduce the overall environmental impacts throughout the life time of the resources, and improve the building’s life cycle. To achieve all this, it is mandatory to spread usable and reliable information and defined indicators that can stablish a complete plan of construction, in the frame of the well-known ‘Circular Economy’.

Because of this (and for many other reasons), the EDA is actively involved in the creation and improvement of legislation in which the European Union works, related to the removal, depositing, and recycling of demolition debris. Some examples of EDA’s involvement are the EU Construction and Demolition Waste Management Protocol, and the EU Guidelines for waste audits before demolition and renovation works of buildings. Both publications are the result of our participation in several workshops to define and create consultation documents that may be useful to stakeholders.  

In conclusion: if we want different results, we don’t have to do the same thing over and over again. Or, paraphrasing Albert Einstein: “Madness is doing the same thing over and over again hoping to get different results.”


About EDA

The EDA was founded in 1978 and is the leading platform for national demolition associations, demolition contractors and suppliers. The EDA has a strong focus on developments in Europe, which are of interest to the demolition industry.

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