Innovative Building Materials from Waste
At StoneCycling, we’ve been developing and adjusting the recipes of our WasteBasedBricks® since 2009. We’re often asked whether it’s possible to process waste from a specific donor building to produce new materials.
While we agree that using construction and demolition waste from a donor building to create new building materials holds immense potential, there are some challenges and considerations that need to be addressed:
Quality Assurance: Ensuring the quality and consistency of recycled materials can be a concern. This is why we primarily work with larger, well-separated quantities of waste. Strict standards and regulations must be implemented to guarantee that these materials meet or surpass the performance of traditional materials. That is why all our waste streams are tested on quality and consistency and comply with government regulations.
Unknown Outcomes: Colour variation is an intrinsic property of a bespoke WasteBasedBrick® due to the nature of the used materials and means of production. Working with unknown waste streams from a donor building, the aesthetical properties of the final product won’t be known until much later in the production process. This can be exciting but requires a different mindset from the architect, developer and client.
ALSO READ: Bespoke or custom brick design – what is the difference?
Case Studies: New Materials from Donor Building Waste
StoneCycling developed an ingenious and customizable process that involves crushing and mixing salvaged waste with a binder from residual materials, creating a new range of durable, aesthetically pleasing, and sustainable building products.
The resulting bricks and tiles retain the charm and character of the original materials, adding a unique touch to modern construction projects.
Recently, we’ve been working on several projects where we adjusted the recipes of our WasteBasedBricks® to incorporate waste materials from a donor building. Below, you can see some close-up shots of these bespoke developments.
We will be sharing more details about these projects once construction starts on our project page. In the project feature, we’ll go deeper into working with each specific client to create a new product.
From the photos, you can probably already tell that the type of waste material, the colour, grain size and the firing process strongly impact the final look & feel of the product. As mentioned before, this makes custom development a more involved, longer and uncertain process – requiring a different approach and mindset from all parties involved.
Working with unknown waste streams from a donor building, the aesthetical properties of the final product won't be known until much later in the production process. This can be exciting but requires a different mindset from the architect, developer and client.
Closing the Loop in Construction
In construction, a circular approach means keeping materials in use as long as possible in a closed cycle of extended use, reuse, and recycling through techniques and business models. This Circular Economy contributes to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals.
That said, circular construction is an entirely new system – not just optimising the current sustainability model. We need to start seeing waste as ‘material without identity‘, as Dutch architect and visionary Thomas Rau once beautifully put it.
StoneCycling focuses on sourcing waste materials from all construction phases, reducing landfill waste and environmental pollution.
Working with donor material requires a different understanding of materials, but the results can be unique and inspiring. What questions do you still have about building with C&D waste from a (donor) building? Let us know!
Are you interested in exploring a bespoke development using donor waste?
To develop a product using donor waste, we’ve set a few conditions:
- The project location should be The Netherlands.
- The project exceeds 1000 m² brickwork.
- All stakeholders have an open mindset towards the unknown result of the end product.