CATEGORIES2004 Conference Papers Architecture and the environment
ABSTRACT: The use of materials in architecture has social, cultural, moral, and environmental
implications. These implications, however, have largely been ignored. The issue of where materials
come from or where they ultimately end up has had little impact on the practice of architecture as a
whole. This paper is concerned with this issue. The main objective of the research presented in this
paper is to examine the use of recycled materials in architecture practice by considering the reasons
and benefits of using recycled materials, the problems with their use, the aesthetics of recycled
materials, and the future potentially of their use. The research was conducted through literature review
and interviews with a number of architects.
The paper concludes that one of the most problematic barriers is a lack of knowledge and
understanding of the use of recycled and reused materials by architects. If architects had a greater
understanding and knowledge of the issues involved they would be in a position to inform their clients.
To overcome this problem there needs to be education and support of architects and an
acknowledgement by the profession of the imperative of sustainable approaches to architecture and of
the impact design choices have on the environment.