Recycled Materials

With current technologies and increasing construction costs, recycled materials are becoming much more common on construction sites. Re-using and recycling materials reduces the demand for virgin materials, reduces volumes in local landfills and capitalizes on embedded energy in existing items.

At Local Government House

The building envelope of Local Government House contains recycled fly ash and rebar. The concrete is composed of almost 50 % pre-consumer (post-industrial) recycled fly ash – which is an industrial by-product. The rebar contains 98% recycled material and is from Seattle.

The carpet contains 35 % post-industrial recycled fibres, the fabric on the lobby chairs contains 73% recycled polyester fibres, and the fabric of the office and boardroom chairs are 100% recycled material.

An exciting feature in Local Government House is internal concrete stairwell. Szolyd, a Victoria-based decorative concrete company, has developed G-Roc – a concrete blend that utilizes glass collected in the Capital Regional District's blue box program. The stairs in Local Government House are made from G-Roc and have 85% recycled glass content.

In Your Community

  • Think about recycled materials early in the design process and identify local options such as posts and beams, flooring, panelling, doors and frames, cabinetry and furniture, brick and decorative features.
  • Develop a list of local manufacturers and suppliers of recycled and/or salvaged materials.
  • Set a goal for recycled content in new local government buildings or local developments to ensure that the specified materials are installed and to determine the total amount of recycled materials that are used.
  • Consider on-site resource re-use: crushed brick, asphalt and concrete all have potential uses.
  • Whenever possible, aim for materials that are not only recycled but which can be recycled in the future.

To Learn More

  • Visit the Township of Langley's civic facility (LEED Silver) to learn how adaptive reuse of an existing building retained more than 95% of the former structure.
  • In Alberta, visit the Canmore Civic Centre (LEED Silver) where building materials and finishes were selected and purchased from local and regional manufacturers, interior doors and frames were removed from a local demolition project and interior timbers were selectively retrieved from a forest devastated by fire.
  • In Vancouver, visit the head office of Omicron Architecture Engineering Construction (LEED Gold – Commercial Interiors) to see rubber gym flooring made of recycled car tires, exposed concrete wall panels made of plant products, recycled paper and industrial waste, fiberglass insulation made from recycled glass bottles and extensive use of agrifibre as an alternative to a wood based product.

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