Design for Disassembly: An Analysis of the Practice (or Lack Thereof) in the United States

Fernanda Cruz-Rios, David Grau

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Construction consumes more resources and generates more solid waste than most industries. Recycling building components and their materials is not enough to eliminate solid waste and promote resource efficiency. The circular economy (CE) prioritizes reuse over recycling and proposes systemic changes in the way we build. Designing out waste is the core principle of the CE. Design for disassembly or design for deconstruction (DfD) is the practice of planning the future deconstruction of a building and the reuse of its materials and components. However, there are very few buildings in the world that have been designed to be disassembled. The study presented in this paper aims at identifying the barriers and opportunities for DfD and building components' reuse in the current design practice in the United States. The authors recorded, transcribed, and coded open-ended interviews with 13 architects from large design firms in the United States to answer the question of why architects do not currently design for disassembly. Data were analyzed with a grounded theory approach. The authors identified several barriers, among them: building owners' values, the challenges of a DfD-centered life cycle cost analysis, the lack of understanding about the environmental benefits of reuse (e.g., over recycling), and the architects' conflicting views about resiliency and disassembly. Prefabrication and product-service systems have emerged as opportunities for DfD and CE in the built environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConstruction Research Congress 2020
Subtitle of host publicationProject Management and Controls, Materials, and Contracts - Selected Papers from the Construction Research Congress 2020
EditorsDavid Grau, Pingbo Tang, Mounir El Asmar
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Pages992-1000
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780784482889
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventConstruction Research Congress 2020: Project Management Controls, Materials, Contracts - Tempe, United States
Duration: Mar 8 2020Mar 10 2020

Publication series

NameConstruction Research Congress 2020: Project Management and Controls, Materials, and Contracts - Selected Papers from the Construction Research Congress 2020

Conference

ConferenceConstruction Research Congress 2020: Project Management Controls, Materials, Contracts
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityTempe
Period3/8/203/10/20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

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