Chapter 2Concepts Supporting Reuse

God has lent us the Earth for our life: it is an entail. It belongs as much to those who come after us… as to us; and we have no right, by anything we do, or neglect, to involve them in unnecessary penalties, or deprive them of benefits which it was in our power to bequeath.

(John Ruskin, 18491)

Today it is recognized that environmental concerns need to transform architectural strategies and designs. This requires new ways of thinking about materials based on local and natural systems, moving toward a cyclical use of the available materials, components, energy, spaces and places. The depletion of natural resources, increasing waste flows and increasing competition for energy and water have stimulated a number of legislative initiatives to support the development of circular approaches. Three trends have a particular impact in the design, construction and operation of the built environment. Firstly, the gradual introduction in many jurisdictions of carbon accounting (either carbon tax or cap and trade) is likely to impact building design and construction materials supply, particularly as the cement and steel industries are two of the largest industrial emitters of carbon. Secondly, extended product responsibility (EPR) is a strategy being embraced by governments to make manufacturers responsible for the entire life cycle of their product and, especially, for the take-back, recycling and final disposal. This is intended to encourage manufacturers ...

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