New Zealand’s push to become more sustainable will move forward if there would be fewer homes sent to landfills after being demolished, according to a study.
The practice of recycling old homes will help the initiative of some cities such as Auckland, where officials target sustainable houses to represent 30% of residential properties by 2020.
The study based its findings from a 120-square-metre house in Auckland built in the 1950s. Envision NZ consultant Kate Otter-Lowe said that the property’s demolition occurred for eight days. Almost 90% of the materials were then dumped in a landfill.
On the other hand, salvaging materials from an old home could provide owners with additional money. As most vintage properties used native wood, the study showed that the sample home’s timber structure could be worth as much as $15,000. Owners of newer homes may sometimes consider about breaking down a part of the house for upgrades, but retrofits may be a better solution.
A new septic tank that doesn’t require intrusive mechanical components serves as a good option for renovating your plumbing system. This reduces the need to break down walls or dig new holes on the ground, both of which require materials.
The Auckland Waste Assessment in 2017 showed that dumped trash at landfills consisted of 40% waste from demolished structures. If you really need to destroy an old home, you should deconstruct it and sell the reusable parts. You not only help in diverting waste away from dumpsites, but also earn extra cash.
The next time you plan to demolish a house, think about how you’ll dispose of its remains. Homeowners should consider retrofits to save on time and labour, while also considering more sustainable ways for systems such as plumbing and ventilation.