Use of recycled building material is fairly recent phenomena, and gaining worldwide acceptance for both the economic as well as environmental benefits. With the introduction of Green building certification in India, the use of recycled material in buildings gain momentum. To make a building “Green“ it is necessary to select building materials to be green since, these material have a good hand in polluting or sustaining the environment. Use of recycled material reduces impacts associated with extraction and processing of new materials and pollution. The solid waste also reduces as they are diverted from landfills.
There are many building products available today that are manufactured from recycled materials, such as Bricks, Glass, Steel, Fly ash Concrete, Tiles & Etc… Most of the recycled material exhibit performances similar or even better than new products such as fly ash bricks, which have higher compressive strength than normal clay brick and has lower thermal conductivity than simple concrete block.
Recycled content: Recycle content is an important feature for selection of recycled material. Recycled content is classified in to two types based on its origin namely Post Consumer and Pre-consumer or Post industrial.
Post consumer recycle content is consumer waste that is already served a purpose. More preference is given to post consumer waste as post-consumer recycled materials are more likely to be diverted from landfills. The recycle content was generated by household, commercial, industrial, or institutional end-users and can no longer be used for its intended purpose.
Example of post-consumer recycled materials used in building products Aluminum, paper, plastic, Glass etc.
Post industrial recycled content is waste material output or by product from industries which are normally diverted to other industries or land filled. Example of post-industrial recycled materials used in building products slag, fly ash bricks, tiles…Etc
Recycled Materials for Buildings:
Fly ash concrete & bricks: Fly ash is a waste byproduct of coal-fired power plants. It is used to make bricks and concrete
Steel: Steel is the only material for which LEED and IGBC allows you to claim a default recycled-content value (25% post-consumer) without providing any documentation.
Cement: waste products like fly ash, silica fume, and slag are used in cement
Glass: Used glass bulbs, glass bottles and window panes are used in glass
Aluminum: Used window frames, cans are used in Aluminum
Why Recycled Building Materials:
Recycled building materials are just as strong and durable as new materials and reusing these products reduces the amount of waste in the landfills and also reduces environmental impacts associated with new material extraction & processing.
Environmental benefits: Since recycled materials are used to replace new materials that must be mined and processed for use, Recycled material conserves natural resources and reduces the energy use and pollution associated with these activities. Recycling materials results in less material being sent to disposal, which saves landfill space and further reduces pollution.
Economic Benefits: Recycled materials are often less expensive than new materials, so they make good economic sense for builders and project owners.
Performance Benefits: some industrial materials, such as fly ash and slag cement used in concrete, offer significant performance benefits over conventional concrete.