Reusing, Recycling Our Old Buildings

For the past few weeks, we have been investigating the different materials and its sustainability. But, nevertheless the most sustainable material is actually not what we been learning and examining throughout the semester.

During a recent guest lecture for one of my class talked about preservation. Preservation is, of course, not a material, but is definitely one of the most sustainable technique and building ever. Building that was built over fifty years ago contains many organic and raw materials. And also, by preserving a building helps reduce the wasteland and also save our historic site. Preserving a building does not required using the building as it is, but create and add changes or modification to a building – this method was used by many all over the country. One of these examples is the Galena, Illinois. It used to be a town where no one bothers to come and tour, yet today, it has over 11.3 million tourists visiting just last year. They decided not to demolished their building, and create new sustainable building, but reusing in a way that attracts millions of visitors.

In the movie earlier this week, talked about the wastelands that have been rapidly increased and damaging our earth. It introduced the different research and study that have been ongoing for the past few years to create items that are recyclable. Though, in terms of buildings, using sustainable building materials is definitely a great idea for new building. However, demolishing one building to create another sustainable building doesn’t do any good. By demolishing a building that was built over fifty or even hundreds of years ago that used raw material such as brick and stone can cause over 9million pound of wasteland. Instead reusing the building or its material can save so much waste that being disturbed into the waste land, and also money. Last Spring Semester, I did a research on the Hennepin Library in downtown Minneapolis, we came to discovered that the library actually reused 96% of the previous building material and incorporate it into the new library. This shows that, old building can be reused and recycled easily either by incorporating it into the new building or even, reusing the building as a whole.


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