Reuse and Deconstruction

Potentially, the greatest recovery of the energy and material resources embedded in a building can be derived from the reuse of the complete structure.* Adaptive reuse means that the building is fit for a new use after it is no longer needed for its original use.  Concrete buildings, especially those that employ frame structural systems, are well suited to this type of conversion.  In most cases, the concrete structure will not require secondary fireproofing or acoustic treatment.

If a concrete building cannot be used in its complete form at the end of its life, then it can be deconstructed.  Deconstruction is the partial or complete disassembly of an existing building and elements within it, to be reused in another building.  It differs from demolition in that the building components are still in their original component parts.

*Gjerde, Morten. (2003). Deconstruction: helping to foster a sustainable concrete industry. Proceedings of the New Zealand Concrete Industry Conference. Taupo, New Zealand.