Reuse or Build New? Group to Gather Hard Environmental Data | GreenSource

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A partnership between the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Green Building Services and the Cascadia Green Building Council, in conjunction with a grant from the Summit Foundation, will publish a full report analyzing demolition/new construction vs. reuse of materials. The study will include a Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) as well as data regarding number of existing buildings, types, ages and geographic distribution in four U.S. regions, according to Green Building Services consultant, Ralph DiNola, Assoc. AIA:

Then, the team will conduct a broad survey including groups from developers to architects, policymakers, and bankers, said DiNola, ?really trying to get a sense of the factors that influence decision-making when it comes to either demolition or reuse.? Reuse or demolition decisions go beyond LCA data, says DiNola, and the team hopes to capture that information in the report. That survey will also help the team build scenarios to give the LCA data context, he says.

DiNola emphasized that the study would go in a different direction than some past studies that have sought to quantify the ?embodied energy? in existing buildings. ?Both from a capital standpoint and with environmental impact, that is water under the bridge,? he said. ?We?re really trying to talk about the avoided impacts of reuse versus new construction.?

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