Around 400 million tonnes of new materials are used in UK construction each year. In the UK approximately 50,000 buildings are demolished each year, generating 45Mt of construction and demolition (C&D) waste, the majority of this is concrete and masonry, brick and steel.
Only a small percentage (approximately 3Mt) are reclaimed for direct re-use, mostly for heritage products or easily demountable structures such as steel sections from portal frames (around 4% of all steel in buildings is re-used vs 92% recycled).
Re-use of EoSL materials and products offers a far higher economic and material benefit than virgin or recycling. For high value product re-use to become mainstream in the UK building construction industry, it is imperative that barriers to hard to deconstruct EoSL buildings, including cement mortar based masonry, reinforced concrete, steel/concrete composite structures, which account for the vast majority of UK building construction tonnage and cost, must be removed.
REBUILD focusses on the major challenge of legacy buildings and the potential to create value from remanufacturing products of buildings at end of service life (EoSL) into high value durable products with minimal re-processing for new builds, which themselves should be designed for future deconstruction and product re-use, and the system innovations required at regional scale.