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Recycled material still not economic for construction

USE OF 100% recycled timber is not yet commercially viable on construction projects, consultant Ellis & Moore (E&M) has warned.

Too much time and resources are needed to source, grade and store reclaimed and recycled materials, E&M said in a report on a recent housing development in south London.

E&M was structural engineer for the recently completed Beddington Zero (Fossil) Energy Development (BedZED) scheme which aimed to use materials recycled and sourced locally wherever possible (NCE 29 November 2001).

The post-project Construction Materials Report says that 3,404t of recycled materials were used on the scheme, 15% of total materials. Fifty two percent of materials were sourced from within the target 56km.

Materials were sourced by sustainability group BioRegional, but E&M still had to devote time to assessing the quality of the supplied materials.

'The purchase price of reclaimed materials is low, but the question is the amount of work you then have to do, ' said E&M director Lachlan MacDonald.

'For the sale of reclaimed materials to become truly commercial, suppliers need to be able to quantify and grade the materials. As an engineer you do not have the time'

INFOPLUS For a copy of the construction materials report, visit www. bioregional. com

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