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This new guide aims to reduce material waste.

The construction industry generates a lot of waste, and both rehabilitation and new projects require large quantities of materials. Currently, we mainly use new building materials, which in turn are made from mostly virgin materials.

“The reuse of building products can provide environmental benefits that are crucial for sustainable resource management,” says Thale Sofie Plesser, senior researcher at SINTEF.

How do you know if they are good enough?

Whether the construction product is new or used, we need to know what level of performance it is at. For new construction products, we have a well-established system of product documentation. But when a construction product is used, it will be exposed to wear and its performance may change.

Due to regulatory changes, performance requirements may change from when the construction product was new. So how do we know that a used construction product is fit for reuse?

The new guide Reuse of building materials. Performance Documentation Guide attempts to answer this question with respect to four central categories of construction products:

  • Glazed partitions
  • Windows and doors
  • Ventilation
  • Sanitary equipment

For each construction product, the following must be detailed: the problems that may be encountered, the possibilities of repairing the damage and the documentation of the properties to be reused.

“The methods and principles used to assess new construction products can also be used to assess used construction products. However, as used construction products can be expected to be more or less exposed to wear and tear, wear assessment is an important point in the guide,” says Plesser.

If the original construction product documentation still exists, it can be used as a starting point for the assessment. The guide outlines the requirements for whether or not to use original documentation.

For construction consultants, developers and contractors

The guide is primarily written for construction consultants, developers and contractors who wish to reuse building products in their projects.

The guide is produced as part of the research project REBUS. The aim of the project is to work with key players in the construction industry to develop new knowledge for more efficient reuse of building materials.

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