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Exploring the ‘R’s and constructing the big picture of ‘recycling’ in architecture and construction industry [ITU J Faculty Arch]
ITU J Faculty Arch. Articles in Press: ITUJFA-33254 | DOI: 10.5505/itujfa.2021.33254  

Exploring the ‘R’s and constructing the big picture of ‘recycling’ in architecture and construction industry

Arulmalar Ramaraj1, Jothilakshmy Nagammal2
1Department of Architecture, School of Building and Environment, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, India
2Saveetha College of Architecture and Design, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Chennai, India

In the current scenario, the three ‘R’s ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ have been extended to fourteen ‘R’s due to the increasing awareness to the impacts generated by the extraction of natural resources, manufacturing of goods as well the disposal of the post consumer goods. Even though the meanings associated with ‘R’s have been increasing, studies have revealed a gap in distinguishing the various degrees of recycling. It is in this context, thematic analysis has been adopted to construct an overall picture of recycling with a thrust on architecture and construction industry. This paper has attempted to explore the ‘R’s, the definitions and classification of recycling by authors in diverse domains and have been consolidated and synthesized. Findings reveal that ‘upcycling’ and ‘upgrading’ are the subsets of recycling. Six degrees of upcycling have been recognized in architecture and the construction sector that revolve around existing building stocks, salvaged building components and building materials with recycled content. In addition, this paper reinstates the need for a ‘pre-process’ phase specific to developing engineered building materials with recycled content especially with secondary resources from domains other than the construction domain.

Keywords: architecture, construction industry, recycle, thematic analysis, upcycle

Corresponding Author: Arulmalar Ramaraj, India

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