Concrete Recycling Centre

competition entry 08-2012 * AMONG TOP TEN FINALISTS *

Concrete Recycling Centre
A straight forward definition of what it means to act sustainably triggered this design project that is: take what we need to live now without jeopardizing the potential for people in the future to meet their needs.
The project started from material research on what is locally available in Christchurch as construction material. Concrete was starting point as it had been one of the dominant construction materials used in Christchurch prior to the earthquake. Concrete and its impact on environment were explored. Enormous volume of concrete consumption and its negative impact on environment were discovered.

Initial research led into further investigation, which was on recycling and its environmental effect. This phase was to explore the ways to reduce its impact on environment. It was found that the current life cycle of construction materials including concrete has negative impact as at the end of life cycle of raw construction materials end up filling landfills. It was found construction and demolition waste is responsible for almost quarter of entire landfill in the world.

Since Christchurch earthquake triggered heavy volume of construction and demolition, looping traditional one way life cycle of raw materials by adopting reusing/recycling method was decided to be achieved. Architectural response after research phase was to develop the architecture that adopts reusing/recycling materials for its construction as well as promoting the potential of reusing/recycling materials within the context of current post earthquake era in Christchurch where there are vast amount of materials available to be reused or recycled. Concrete recycling plant and educational centre was decided to be developed in Christchurch to promote and contribute environment friendly design and its potential. Environmental impact during construction phase was considered during design phase; hence various ways of recycling/reusing method were explored to derive the materiality of proposed building.

Tommy Jae Wuk Shin


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