Urbanization is taking place all over the world, increasing the demand for housing. This means that an estimated 60 % of the new urban areas needed in 2030 have not yet been built. Also waste from the building industry represents a huge untapped resource, and upcycling and retrofitting of building materials are a much needed approach to building, when aiming for reducing CO2 emissions.
Upcycle Studios has been designed with the mission to construct a residential area built by upcycled and local waste materials without compromisingon aesthetics, quality or price. The vision was to minimize the total carbonfootprint of housing by reusing waste such as residual wood, crushedconcrete and windows from old buildings. Upcycle Studios is a sustainableScandinavian townhouse solution, located in Ørestad, in the peripheryof Copenhagen, Denmark. The houses are constructed of upcycled concrete, glass and wood, and are built on market conditions and designedfor scalability.
When buildings are renovated the healthy windows either end up aslandfill or the glass is crushed and melted for new purposes using a lot of energy. The team therefore decided to use old windows, with woodenand not aluminum frames, which according to the team saved them up to 95% CO2 in the production process. To meet the modern isolationstandards, the huge windows in the building consist of two-layer recycleddouble-glazing. Also the wooden floors, walls and facades are producedfrom offcuts and surplus wood from the Danish wooden flooring companyDinesen. The homes have been created with a large degree of flexibility,making them suitable for a diverse group of potential residents, androbust in changing markets – and social life conditions.
The interdisciplinary team has succeeded in developing upcycled,aesthetic materials from the early idea and all the way to commercialimplementation, and the project has potential to change the perceptionof reuse and upcycling in the building industry, and among consumers.
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