Commercial Unit

Building Deconstruction and Reuse

Demonstrates the power of repurposing buildings versus standard building demolition

Project at a Glance

In partnership with Light House, an environmental non-profit, with support from PICSand input from the District of Squamish, Nexii has undertaken a case study to capture the disassembly of a Nexii building. This case study compares the disassembly of a Nexii commercial building with the demolition of wood frame and steel stud building baselines.

 

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Lower carbon

68% of panel manufacturing embodied carbon offset - increases to 96% offset with foundation re-use

Improved air quality

Reduced site disturbance and virtual elimination of airborne contaminants during deconstruction

Environmentally friendly

34% and 47% lower net global warming potential (GWP) impact compared to wood and steel stud designs respectively

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Job creation

Investment shifts from material to people - over 350 employment hours created

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Waste reduction

99.83% reuse of material/ diverted from landfill

A circular built environment is possible

The current linear approach to buildings and construction has a significant impact on the environment. It consumes ~40% of raw material globally[1] and accounts for 39% of global CO emissions; 11% from building materials and product manufacturing.[2] Additionally, demolition causes disturbance of dust, mould, drywall dust, and other air quality contaminants and is the largest waste stream contributor (by weight)[3]

Designing for reuse and circulating building materials back into resource loops can translate into huge opportunities for communities including improving air quality, extending the lifespan of landfills, creating jobs and cost savings by reusing and selling material at the end-of-life.

At the end of the Nexii Discovery Centre’s use in its Squamish location, the building was deconstructed into its component panels to be reassembled on a new site.

Light House Sustainability Society (Light House) developed a “deconstruction” case study that compares the disassembly of a Squamish-based Nexii commercial building following 2-years of use, with the demolition of a wood frame and steel stud building baseline. Because its deconstruction was considered during design using DfD strategies, the disassembly was simple and on schedule, taking 6 days in total. The blueprint for installation became the plan for disassembly when reversed.

The case study extends beyond typical Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) boundaries to look at reuse, recycling and recovery components and highlights lessons learned along the way. It was developed in partnership with Light House Sustainability Society (Light House), with support from PICS and input from the District of Squamish Find out more at: nexii.com/circular-economy.

 

 

1. Scaling the Circular Built Environment. World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Circle Economy.

2. UN Environment Global Status Report 2019; EIA International Energy Outlook 2019​.

3. Making the Business Case for Advancing a Low-carbon, Circular Built Environment. World Circular Economy Forum. October 2021.